Blog: Will Heineken's bid for at-home market - The Sub - hit the spot?
James Wilmore | 10 October 2014
Heineken has stepped up its focus on stay-at-home drinkers with the roll out of its latest 'draught beer at home' concept - The Sub - to its domestic market.
The Sub, which first launched in Italy and Spain late last year, was released in the Netherlands this week. The 16-inch device, created by famed Apple designer Marc Newson, can house a 2-litre keg of beer and is expected to roll out to more markets.
But brewers face a balancing act when its comes to this kind of innovation. The decline of the on-trade in many European countries has hit beer producers hard. Consumers who have invested in widescreen TVs for their homes and face smoking bans are feeling less inclined to venture out for a pint.
Launching beer dispenser units for the home could be seen as throwing in the towel on helping the ailing European on-trade. Heineken does however have its own estate of pubs in the UK, which it is spending GBP18m on upgrading, so this is far from the reality.
The last effort by Heineken to tap the stay at-home market - The BeerTender - appears to have fallen by the wayside. At least the machine is no longer available on Amazon, or through the Dutch brewer's US website.
Will The Sub, with the kudos of an Apple designer behind it, fare better?
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