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Home drafts on-tap

Strategic alliances can deliver true innovation, creating new categories, rejuvenating consumer interest and driving organic growth. Those alliances that are focused on powerfully branded, easy-to-experience innovations that are designed around the consumer allow for premium pricing and are drivers of growth. Being at the forefront of identifying shifts in consumer behaviour is essential to capitalising on that next great idea, selecting the right partner to turn that vision into value, as both Philips and Groupe SEB have done, joining forces with leading brewers to deliver the ideal home draft beer systems

South African's love to entertain at home, and what better way to impress your mates than to serve them their favourite brew on tap from the confines of your home pub! Perfect for when the ‘boys' get together for a braai! At least that's what you could do if you happened to live in Switzerland or the Netherlands. The world's number 3 brewer, Heineken, launched their Beer Tender, www.beertender.nl, an at home draught system back in 2004, in collaboration with Groupe SEB, the domestic equipment titan whose brands include Moulinex, Rowenta and Krups.

Aspiring Heineken home barmen simply insert the proprietary, compact, 4-litre Heineken keg in the Beer Tender appliance, which keeps the keg at the right temperature and in optimal condition for a period of three weeks after the first beer is tapped. The beer tender retails at approximately US$349 and is just as successful it would seem, as the Philips and Douwe Egberts Senseo Home Coffee system, www.senseo.com with over a million units having been sold since launch in the Netherlands alone. Amstel is also available for this system, making it seemingly a great idea for Heineken to relaunch this brand on the back of a home beer tender system for the South African market.

Philips, not to be outdone, launched a competing system through Inbev, called Perfect Draft, www.perfectdraft.com/site/BE/EN/ serving up well-known brands like Stella Artois, Grolsch, Jupiter and Leffe. The Perfect Draft appliance is equipped with a display showing the approximate temperature of the beer as well as a beer level indicator. It is easy to set up and maintain. Kegs hold 6 litres and can be changed in less than 30 seconds. The appliance keeps beer at a constant temperature of 3° C. Empty kegs can be returned to the store where the purchase was made and consumers will receive a deposit. At a very competitive price of US$270, the Perfect Draft is bound to accelerate the growth of the at home beer tender market.

Companies like Philips, Inbev, Heineken and Groupe SEB are on the ball! They have picked up on changing consumer behaviour, and have realised that in order to deliver innovative products, which meet consumers evolving needs, strategic alliances are vital.

In addition, they don't simply launch a new concept and hope it flies, they back it up with an integrated marketing thrust, the consumer being at the centre point of their activity, from initial insights through to a comprehensive marketing program designed to change consumer behaviour, investing substantially and thereby successfully building a new category.

Surely our leading brewer has identified the consumer need of bringing the great taste of draught beer into the home? One wonders why SAB Miller has not partnered up with a leading appliance maker and jumped in on the act, given the huge opportunity open to it in the South African market? Now that may well have been a great strategy to capture some of those status conscious Amstel loyalists, left high and dry by Heineken's decision to pull Amstel away from SAB Miller, giving them something far more interesting and exciting to ponder upon and perhaps try, as they wait for those containers to arrive from Europe! Lets hope that it does not take too long before neglected South African beer lovers get to enjoy pouring their favourite local beer on tap in the comfort of their own homes! For those who enjoy to occasionally indulge on a European beer, cannot wait any longer, and don't mind splashing out on that import this coming summer, purchase both the system and kegs direct at www.made-in-holland.net/Beertender-p-1-c-1.html

About Roman Cylkowski

Roman Cylkowski is a brand strategist and product sourcing and development specialist. He was responsible for matching Sakata with NBL, and for conceptualizing and developing the Magicmaid Madam & Eve Household cleaning range. Contact him on cell +27 72 299 9546 or email roman@blitzforce.com.au.

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