HEINEKEN is strengthening its presence in the cruise market for 2017 adding new brands to its portfolio and increasing operational support for cruise customers through broader availability of its award-winning BREWLOCK draught beer system which scooped "Drinks Innovation of the Year" and "Supreme Champion" in the Drinks International Travel Retail Awards 2016, presented this month.

Red Stripe® beer is launching now across global cruise-lines. HEINEKEN recently acquire majority shares in the classic Jamaican beer – complementing the core HEINEKEN Global Duty Free portfolio, which includes Heineken®, Dos Equis®, Newcastle Brown Ale® and Tiger® beer. A growing emphasis on Strongbow® Apple Ciders is also underway as cider increases in popularity amongst cruise guests.

Koos Vrijlandt, global duty free account manager HEINEKEN, comments: "The HEINEKEN portfolio is solidly built on brands that express engaging, authentic stories and Red Stripe® clearly has a powerful story to share in travel retail. The Red Stripe® story began almost 90 years ago in Jamaica and HEINEKEN has already begun plans for the repatriation of production to the Kingston brewery by the end of this year, doubling its capacity, and reflecting our emphasis on authenticity and traditions that translate to exceptional taste."

Since its UK launch in 1962 Strongbow® has grown to become the number one global cider brand in the world and the brand has innovated strongly over the past few years to surprise and delight consumers, including the expansion of a range of natural flavours always based on apple: Strongbow Gold, Elderflower, Red Berries, Honey, and British Dry. In addition, the brand has responded to rising consumer demands for healthier products with the introduction of Strongbow® 0.0%, launched earlier this year and offering a stylish new option in alcohol-free sparkling drinks.

Winning with customer-focused innovation

Heineken BrewLock is a game-changing innovation is 25% lighter than regular draught systems and 100% disposable – reducing logistical, quality, and cost barriers that the cruise industry was facing. Brewlock won "Drinks Innovation of the Year" and "Supreme Champion" in the Drinks International Travel Retail Awards 2016, presented in October.

A newly expanded portfolio of brands is now available on over 90 cruise-ships and ferries across the globe, as Koos Vrijlandt explains: "BrewLock is a powerful innovation that demonstrates the ability of HEINEKEN to innovate exciting new solutions that not only deliver a stronger consumer experience but also create significant operational and logistical advantages for our customers, especially among the world’s leading cruise and ferry lines.

We have expanded the range of brands offered in the BrewLock system in Global Duty Free, which includes Heineken® and Newcastle Brown Ale®, and we’re excited to announce at TFWA Cannes 2016 that we now offer our customers Heineken® Light and Strongbow® Apple Ciders, the world’s number one cider brand, in the BrewLock system.

This expansion of the BrewLock portfolio not only creates exciting new options and advantages for our customers but also further expands consumer choice and gives them the perfect serve, thus enhancing the on-board experience. BrewLock was initially launched with cruise sector customers, provoking a hugely positive reaction, and is now operational on almost 100 cruise-ships and ferries across the globe."

First off the grid in marketing…

As the official beer partner top the world’s most dynamic sport, Heineken® is also proudly bringing the glamour of Formula 1® to the cruise sector in 2017. This substantial partnership was fully launched at the newly renamed FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO HEINEKEN D’ITALIA 2016, in Monza (4th September), and runs for a multi-year term. From the 2017 F1® season onwards, Heineken® will be the F1® Event Title Partner of three Formula 1® Grands Prix (GP), and will also have a significant presence at several F1® events.

Central to the F1® partnership is a clearly articulated and compelling ‘responsibility’ message. The Formula 1® global platform will provide Heineken® with even greater opportunities, globally and locally, to drive positive change. Consumers will be left in no doubt that Heineken® and Formula 1® are both clear; "If You Drive, Never Drink".