Keg keeps its head in launch

15 June, 2007

Heineken has launched a 5-litre keg with an integrated carbon dioxide cartridge as part of its campaign to encourage customers to drink "continental" style beers with strong heads.

DraughtKeg is to retail at £13.29 and has already gained listings in Sainsbury's, Threshers and Makro.

Other major brands, including Stella Artois and Foster's, have withdr awn keg versions because they did not sell well .

InBev UK stopped producing draught barrels of Boddingtons and Stella

early in 2005. A spokeswoman said: "While initial consumer interest in the barrel format was high, its availability coincided with increased price promotional activity on bulk packs and it was difficult to compete in terms of price, with repeat purchase rates lower than we would have liked."

Scottish & Newcastle UK trialled Foster's CoolKeg in 2003-4, but decided against a full product launch.

Heineken customer marketing controller Chris Duffy said: "This is very different from any kegs that have been launched before because it has

that carbon dioxide lozenge inside so you are always ensuring that every beer is fresh and full of flavour."

He added that the keg has already been launched in 40 countries

and that more than 6 million have been sold in the

past two years.

Heineken is spending £8.8 million on a series of TV, cinema and outdoor ads

as part of a £20.3 million marketing campaign

to position it as a premium, continental beer.


Tried and tested

The keg pours very quickly, shooting out a glass full of froth which takes around a minute to settle to half liquid, half head. It has a very light nose and palate, but that may be because the keg I tested was overchilled. It also lost its fizz very quickly, leaving it almost completely flat after 10 minutes. A bottle chilled for a similar amount of time and opened at the same time had a much fuller flavour

and held its bubbles better. CB

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