Heineken expects rapid growth for Amstel as it says there is still room for premium brands

With the launch of its first ever UK TV ad during the England vs Slovakia match last night (June 20), Heineken is confident its Amstel brand can become a big player in the UK market due to its “authentic roots”.


Amstel’s first ad shows the growth of the fictional smallest bar in Amsterdam. Once every few years, when the ice freezes over the canal, it transforms to become the ‘largest bar in the city’.

David Lette, premium brands director at Heineken, hopes the campaign can mirror Amstel’s aims to grow fourfold over the next five to six years.

The premium beer brand launched to scale in the supermarkets back in March, having previously just been available in bars and pubs, where sales grew 20% in 2015. And the fact Amstel is already an established brand in the trade, gives Lette confidence it can go on to become an established retail brand as well.

He told Marketing Week: “We have incredible confidence in Amstel as it is a premium continental lager, that really does come from Amsterdam. The fact it has been coming from Amsterdam since 1870 gives it a very authentic history that’s different to what the competition is doing and different to our other premium brands.”

Lette said that having the brand in the UK for a few years has given Heineken a better understanding of its core customer and what they want. Amstel’s first ever above the line campaign will also be supported through cinema, VOD, Facebook and  Instagram. In particular, it will be geared towards Amstel’s primary audience of males aged 22-44 who will be watching Euro 2016.

Over the next year Amstel will expand its retail listings and aim to create a loyal customer base. “There is still room for quality premium brands in the the market and a real quality beer that is authentic, knows about its roots and speaks about its roots,” added Lette.

“If you look at what Amstel has sold in the bars and pubs plus early indicators of its off trade performance, then we have a lot of confidence this growth will definitely happen.”