Stella Artois promotes pouring ritual

stella artois chaliceA series of activities and incentives are to be run throughout 2013 to promote the Stella Artois pouring ritual in the on-trade.

AB InBev UK’s campaign will highlight the value of using the Stella Artois Chalice, which increases consumers’ willingness to pay more by 67 per cent and increases their perception of high quality by 20 per cent.

Selected outlets will be invited to join the Stella Artois Connoisseurs programme, recognising commitment to quality, ranging from drinks selection through to high standards of customer service and bar staff training.

The programme provides bars with the tools required to deliver the pouring experience and rewards them for bringing the Stella Artois ritual to life for the consumer. Bars will also receive Stella Artois skimmers, cups and drip trays.

Bar staff delivery of the pouring ritual will be monitored by mystery shoppers. Those outlets that perform all required steps of the programme will be rewarded with a Visa debit reward card loaded with cash.

Iain Newell, marketing director of AB InBev UK, said: “We are truly passionate about delivering the brand promise of a perfectly poured and presented Chalice of Stella Artois every time. We believe that outlets adopting the Stella Artois pouring ritual can set themselves apart with their demonstration of, and appreciation for, genuine quality.

“The Stella Artois Connoisseurs programme is our opportunity to bring this quality experience alive in the on-trade by rewarding those outlets and bar staff who are absolutely committed to quality. The focus and investment we are putting behind promoting the Stella Artois pouring ritual will create increased consumer demand which will benefit our customers.”

The pouring ritual starts with the shape of the Stella Artois Chalice which reflects hundreds of years of Belgian heritage. It also keeps the beer cooler for longer through the stem design, and promotes better head retention.

It ends with the skim, where the bartender must seal the head to remove larger bubbles which burst more quickly causing the beer to dissipate. The sealed head traps carbonation, allowing the head to last longer throughout the drinking experience.

Allaine Schaiko, who won the 2012 title of Stella Artois World Draught Master, said: “Maintaining the head in this manner is critical because the foam is where the slightly pronounced bitterness of Stella Artois comes to the forefront. If you lose the head, you change both the taste and sensorial experience of the product.”

An example of an outlet that has already seen the benefits of adopting the Stella Artois pouring ritual is The Folly in the City of London, operated by Drake & Morgan, which is part of the Connoisseurs programme.

Drake & Morgan business development director Taskin Mussaffer said: “Our customers are passionate about our outlets because of the quality of experience they receive every time they walk through the door. We love that Stella Artois are as focused on the quality of experience as we are and can really see how much our customers appreciate receiving their Stella Artois perfectly poured and presented every time.”

The Stella Artois pouring ritual forms part of the overall communications plan for the brand. Poster, digital and online advertising will focus on specific details of the pour and will elevate the role of the skim in the campaign, “A Cut Above”.

Outlets not selected for the programme can still implement the pouring ritual using the Chalice by contacting their beer supplier.

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