Alcohol has been a pleasant part of social life across the world for decades now. Still, on some occasions, in some places and for some people, alcohol is not appropriate. The negative health effects of excessive alcohol consumption are becoming increasingly clear. Young people run an increased risk as their bodies are still developing. The statutory age limit is, therefore, an important starting point in our vision of sensible drinking.
Consumers of 18 and older deserve a suitable beer for every moment. We, therefore, regard non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers as a full and responsible part of our portfolio. By increasing our product range, we meet growing demand. After all, in 2017, more than half of beer drinkers (52%) have a non-alcoholic beer every now and then.
In 1978, our brand Bavaria was one of the first to brew non-alcoholic beer and since then, we have been forerunners on the non-alcoholic beer market with numerous introductions. Swinkels Family Brewers brews its non-alcoholic beer according to a unique brewing method that does not generate any alcohol during the brewing process. This means our non-alcoholic beers are perfectly suitable for halal consumption, pregnant women and designated drivers. In addition to the production of a wide range of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers, we also invest in campaigns that encourage sensible drinking via the Dutch Foundation for Responsible Alcohol Consumption (STIVA).
The rise in versatility of the beer range makes Dutch beer consumers enthusiast and more conscious. Within this trend, we identify a growing demand for low-alcohol beers and it’s a trend we welcomes. In 2017, we, therefore, introduced Bavaria 3.3, a tasty lager beer with less alcohol. This caters for the trend that consumers enjoy alcohol more consciously and responsibly and we want to further encourage the awareness process of sensible drinking.
We teach students who follow hospitality study programmes at pre-vocational secondary and senior secondary vocational education levels about sensible drinking. As a beer brewer, we think it is important for students to learn about both the positive and negative aspects of beer. After all, these students are tomorrow’s catering establishment operators and as such, they have a major exemplary role in terms of sensible drinking.
In order to encourage sensible drinking, we also support the designated driver campaign (a campaign against alcohol in traffic) with the campaign ‘Met trots voor u gebrouwen. Geen 18? Geen alcohol’, the CBL age campaign (a campaign of the Dutch Food Retail Association [Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel (CBL)] that promotes the need for those under 20 to show proof of ID in supermarkets) and we contribute to the ‘Nuchter over Bier’ initiative (a website with information about the effects of alcohol on young people). We also test all our commercial statements with the national Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages [Reclamecode voor Alcoholhoudende Dranken] for instance.