Heineken 'Star Bottle' Making U.S. Debut

First package change in nearly two decades debuts

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Heineken has announced the U.S. debut of its premium "Star Bottle" packaging for Heineken and Heineken Light.

The new design, Heineken's first package change in nearly two decades, represents a more modern take on the brand's iconic green bottle that the company hopes will further reinforce the brand's upscale status and set it apart from other brands.

The Star Bottle packaging, available in 12-oz. and 22-oz. sizes, features "strong shoulders" and a taller, slimmer neck that elongates the look of the bottle "giving it a more modern air of confident masculinity and pride," the company said. The new design also features a curved embossment, inspired by the iconic racetrack label, and thumb groove that improves bottle grip and encourages drinkers to hold the bottle at a lower point, keeping the beer colder.

While the package is new, the liquid inside remains the same.

The Heineken Star Bottle package will appear in markets beginning in this month.

"The upscale segment represents the greatest opportunity for growth in the beer category," said Colin Westcott-Pitt, vice president of marketing for Heineken USA. "In 2012, upscale beer drove 2% growth in volume and 5.3% growth in value and in the past five years has grown 1.5 times more volume than the premium and value segments combined. Evolving our iconic packaging to an even more premium and contemporary look is perfectly timed to meet that changing demands of today's upscale millennial and multicultural consumer and to provide retailers and on-premise operators with the product and package that translates to increased sales of Heineken--a leader in the growing upscale segment."

In addition to the primary pack change, Heineken and Heineken Light secondary packaging, including the six-pack, 12-pack, 18-pack, 24-pack and Draught Keg, will feature new graphics that will reinforce the progressive upscale attributes that the company said define the Heineken brand.

The company will support the launch of the new Star Bottle with a fully integrated, 360-degree marketing and sales plan that includes "unprecedented" TV, digital and out-of-home (OOH) media support, retail and on-premise programming and extensive event activation.

In addition, a "Star App" encourages consumers to scan the Star Bottle to be entered into the national promotion and receive premium Star Bottle giveaways where legal.

"This app will contribute to an increase in Star Bottle awareness and rate of sale, and by glorifying the bottle, the app will drive additional consideration among our target consumers whether they are shopping for at home entertaining needs or out with friends at their favorite local hot spot. Currently available in over 170 countries across the world, we are excited to bring the Star bottle to the U.S.," Westcott-Pitt said.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV, which is the world's most international brewer. European brands imported into the United States include Heineken Lager, Heineken Light, Amstel Light, Newcastle Brown Ale and Buckler nonalcoholic brew. Heineken USA is also the exclusive U.S. importer for the Tecate, Tecate Light, Dos Equis, Sol, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from Mexico.