Heineken is holding a pitch for its £25m Fayrouz account ahead of launching its non-alcoholic beer brand into the UK and other new markets.
The company is believed to be gearing up a massive marketing push for the brand, aimed at Muslim markets because of the drink¹s halah compliant status.
The account is for five ‘key’ markets including the UK and the brewing giant is thought to have approached at least two UK agencies to pitch for the business.
Fayrouz, which is already massively popular in its home market of Egypt, is a fruit flavoured malt drink that has been certified halal by Al Azhar, a leading Sunni Islam religious institution.
Heineken took control of the brand after aquiring Egypt’s only brewery, Al Harham Beverages Co (ABC) in 2002 for more than £180m ($220m).
At the time Heineken mooted launching the product elsewhere, claiming there were large communities looking out for a ‘serious’ product and citing the 1.3billion Muslims worldwide.
Fayrouz’s production process avoids fermentation, so alcohol is never produced. With most other non-alcoholic beverages, the malt is fermented and the alcohol is removed. ABC also brews other non-alcoholic beers under licence as well as regular beers and produces wine and spirits.
Pitches are being held this week, with a decision expected soon after. It is not known which agencies have been approached although Heineken’s lead global agency, Sir Frank Lowe’s start-up The Red Brick Road which won the £40m business in July, is understood not to be on the shortlist.