Heineken goes direct to customers with Deliveroo tie-up

Heineken is partnering with Deliveroo to enable its brands to go straight to customers for the first time.


Heineken is partnering with Deliveroo in a move that marks the first time an alcohol brand has offered a direct-to-consumer retail route.

The deal between the two will see Heineken launch a new brand – Brew House – through which consumers can order beer and cider made by Heineken via the Deliveroo app. It will initially be available at 15 sites across London ahead of a nationwide rollout by the end of the year.

The Brew House brand will sit as a separate part of the Deliveroo app and offer brands including Heineken, Bulmers and Sol. It should mean customers can get beer and cider deliveries straight to their homes or offices within 20 minutes.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Heineken’s ecommerce strategy manager Nicola Harrison explained that the company has watched as the home delivery market has boomed in recent years and that it saw an opportunity in the market for the brand. It is also part of its wider strategy to position beer and cider as an accompaniment to food.

“We saw a real opportunity for a drinks company to collaborate with Deliveroo and grow within the delivery sector, bringing Heineken brands straight to consumers via a premium platform,” she said.

“Deliveroo’s premium offering and positioning has a great fit with Heineken’s premium portfolio, and with Deliveroo’s focus on delivering high-quality food and great experiences, this allows us to build on our association of beer and cider with food.”

Heineken also hopes the tie-up will help it learn more about the takeaway market, an area where it has little of its own insight. This is important as it becomes an increasingly successful industry, with Euromonitor predicting that spend on takeaways will hit £8bn a year by the end of the decade.

That provides a challenge for Heineken as most of its relationships are with the on-trade in the form of pubs and restaurants or the off-trade – off licences and corner shops. Yet moving into a new area also has its risks.

The deal with Deliveroo is a new operating model for the alcohol brand, requiring Deliveroo drivers to pick up product from convenience stores in the STAR Retailer network. And so Heineken has had to do a lot of work to ensure the staff in stores are fully trained how to use the new Brew House brand, that they have the right stock levels and that packaging is appropriate to its premium positioning.

That is why Heineken is taking a measure approach to the rollout. Initially the partnership will be promoted through localised media and through both Deliveroo and Heineken’s social media channels. There will be a focus on sporting occasions, in particular the UEFA Champions League as Heineken is a sponsor.

The tie-up will then be marketed through Deliveroo’s CRM campaigns and a blog. And Harrison is promising a “series of further initiatives” aimed at boosting take-up of the service.

As for the decision to launch a standalone brand in Brew House, Harrison said: “Heineken has a range of brands within our portfolio, and we wanted to offer as many as possible of these to the consumer. Creating Brew House allows us to showcase a range of products, housing multiple brands under one roof, with the name providing a clear link to the products on offer.

“This should broaden out consumers’ expectations of what Deliveroo can offer beyond meal delivery, being the convenient go-to service for beer and cider needs, whether that’s to watch the match at home, drinks in the office, or for a party.”