After years of resistance, Dutch brewer finally releases a light counterpart

Heineken is set to launch its Heineken Premium Light brand nationwide after a “successful” test launch in selected states last year.

After years of resisting the introduction of a light counterpart to its successful Heineken label, the Dutch brewing giant said that Heineken Premium Light would hit the on-premise in March and reach the country’s off-trade the following month.

For years, the brewer has marketed Amstel Light to service the light category, fearing that a Heineken Light would cannibalize or reduce the perceived value of the Heineken image, once the number one import before being dethroned by Corona..

Last year, Heineken tested the Premium Light brand in four states as it looked to capitalize on growing demand for low-calorie and low-carb beers in the US.

Heineken said it would spend $50 million to support Heineken Premium Light with a nationwide print, TV and Internet marketing campaign planned for the brand. The brewer has forecast sales of around 5 million cases in the brand’s first year, adding that the brand is expected to break even in 2007.