Foster’s to launch low-alcohol beer and lemon drink

Heineken is launching a new product made from Foster’s lager and natural lemon juice with an ABV of two per cent to tap into the “moderation” market.

Due to be introduced in March in the on-trade and off-trade, Foster’s Radler will come in 300ml bottles, supported by a £4million marketing and advertising spend focused on driving trial and awareness.

It is inspired by a beer-based drink dating back to Austria in the 1920s when it was served to cyclists – “Radler” in German – who wanted a low-alcoholic refreshing drink. The Radler category has been growing more recently in European countries such as Poland, Hungary and Austria. In Croatia, it accounts for 9.1 per cent of the total beer market.

Gayle Harrison, brand director for Foster’s at Heineken UK, said Foster’s Radler was being introduced because current low-alcoholic beers and soft drinks were not proving to be an appealing option for people wanting to moderate their alcohol intake.

“Our research showed that current ‘moderation options’ are missing the opportunity to respond to the need of a growing number of drinkers who feel disappointed and unfulfilled because they cannot find a beer product with a lower-alcohol content that still delivers maximum taste and refreshment. Foster’s Radler is a refreshingly different cloudy lemon beer that meets this unmet need.”

The UK is the first country where Foster’s Radler is being introduced after successful trials in Walkabout bars at the end of last year. Heineken believes there is a potential £300million untapped market for “moderation” beers in the UK.

“It offers licensees a top-quality product from a brand that consumers know and trust that gives consumers greater choice – and more reasons to visit the pub on more occasions,” Gayle added.

From April, the launch campaign will include print and outdoor advertising, in-outlet sampling and digital marketing and PR. Kits will be available for the on-trade comprising point-of-sale materials such as ice buckets, drip mats, fridge vinyls and bar runners.

“Radler-style products brought new consumers to the mainstream lager sector in continental Europe and contributed to growth of the lager category as a whole,” Gayle said. “We are confident we can repeat this success with Foster’s Radler in the UK.”

The launch comes as Heineken seeks to revitalise the Foster’s brand with new activity which, for the first time in the UK, focuses on its heritage. A new TV ad will highlight that it has been brewed in Melbourne since 1888 when it was created by brothers Ralph and William Foster.

Foster’s is also rolling out Foster’s Gold into the on-trade after its introduction into the off-trade two years ago. Also in 300ml bottles, the premium beer has an ABV of 4.8 per cent compared to draught Foster’s at four per cent ABV.

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