The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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72  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2018 BEER HEINEKEN USA SPOTLIGHTS INTERNATIONAL PORTFOLIO, MARKETING STRATEGIES, AND, OF COURSE, NEW PRODUCTS AT 2017 NATIONAL DISTRIBUTORS CONFERENCE by Kate Newton H eineken's globally-focused philosophy has seeped into every facet of the business since its founding nearly 150 years ago: Its eponymous flagship label proudly holds the title of the first international craft beer, its products are available in more than 190 countries, and its prestigious lineup of craft beer brands from around the world has emerged as the industry up-and-comer to watch in 2018 and beyond. With that in mind, the fact that Heineken USA's annual National Distributors Conference (NDC) last October in Dallas, Texas, carried the theme "A World of Experience" seemed like a bit of a no-brainer. Here's a recap of some of the most memorable developments and company mile- stones The Tasting Panel and hundreds of fellow attendees drank in during the immersive two-day event. Around the World with Five Points During his keynote speech, Heineken USA President and CEO Ronald den Elzen said that while "Heineken has stood for quality and inventiveness for over 140 years," its Five Points Trading Company division emerged in 2017 as the company's most promising vehicle for "tapping into the waves of tomorrow." Chas Littlefield, General Manager of Five Points, antici- pates 2018 will be "a breakout year" for the young venture. At NDC, Littlefield lightheartedly likened Five Points' globe- trotting portfolio as the beer equivalent of the famous 1993 MTV Unplugged episode featuring Nirvana: Made up of Red Stripe, Tiger, Birra Moretti, Newcastle, Murphy's Stout, Sagres, and Prestige, it distinguishes itself in a crowded market by providing "a stripped-down" and hyperlocal alternative to the mainstream. "It's a lot of brands, but we truly have a world of opportunity," he added. A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY PHOTOS COURTESY OF HEINEKEN USA Heineken USA President and CEO Ronald den Elzen said Tiger, Singapore's wildly-popular premium Asian lager, "will be a gamechanger for decades to come" in terms of international growth.

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