Heineken tries ‘stubby’ bottles to fight imports

Whitbread is planning to scuttle cheap French beer by bottling its Heineken lager in “stubbies”, the smaller, foreign-style bottles.

Industry experts say there is an increasing trend towards sales of multipacks of French lagers, such as Bière de St Omer. Tesco’s top-selling beers during the Christmas period were the 24-bottle cases of Bière d’Or, sold at the knockdown price of 4.99.

One source says: “The French stubbies are good ‘barbecue fodder’ – for example, they are popular with women because of the smaller volume. They have a perception of quality, because the alcohol-by-volume is about 4.6 to five per cent and they are also seen as being quite cheap.”

Another insider says the success of Heineken stubbies will depend very much on price.

“This is a price-driven market. If these multipacks are pitched too high they just won’t sell, even if they do have the Heineken brand,” he says.

Whitbread will launch the Heineken stubbies nationally in June for its standard lager, Heineken Cold Filtered.

Last year, the company re-launched its standard Heineken lager in time for the Euro 96 football championships with new packaging and advertising.

There was no one available for comment at Whitbread as Marketing Week went to press.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here