Heineken has confidence in its duty free presence for 2017 as it rolls out new innovation, a new brand and new flavours and prepares for its partnership with Formula 1 racing.

The worldwide growth of Heineken Strongbow cider, which has a new range of natural flavours, shows the company has, “responded to rising consumer demands for healthier products,” says Koos Vrijlandt, Heineken’s Global Duty Free Account Manager.

Heineken’s recent acquisition of Jamaican beer Red Stripe, will see the company invest heavily in its newest brew.

“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.”

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Heineken’s BrewLock innovation (a draught system 25% lighter than regular steel systems, and 100% disposable) is making waves in the cruise industry. The 20K PET keg removes the need for additional gas and regulator systems. BrewLock impressed judges at the Drinks International Travel Retail Awards 2016, held recently in Cannes. The system won Drinks Innovation of the Year and Supreme Champion awards.

“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,” says Vrijlandt.

“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 were excited to announce at TFWA Cannes 2016 that we now offer our customers Heineken Light and Strongbow Apple Ciders, 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.”

Finally, Heineken “is also proudly bringing the glamour” of Formula 1 to the duty-free market in 2017, says Vrijlandt. The partnership was fully launched in September and runs for a multi-year term.