Heineken brews up alpine range

Heineken’s ambitious plans to launch a beer category are being bolstered by international design group Siebert Head, which is producing the packaging and brand identity for a new beverage called Edelweiss Snowfresh.

Edelweiss Snowfresh is a premium wheat beer, brewed in the Alps. It’s brewed with alpine water, flavoured with alpine herbs and, according to Heineken, has a premium speciality positioning which focuses on the ‘alternative alpine experience’. It is designed to appeal to both sexes, in anticipation of larger numbers of women frequenting pubs this summer when smoking is banned.

Siebert Head’s packaging designs centre on the alpine origin of the beer, and its premium nature. It features an iconic edelweiss flower in a dark blue, metallic square, with silver and white colourways on the labelling which takes the form of a premium cigar-band execution, and a neck label acting as a quality seal. Both labels deviate radically from the old ‘race-track’ labels that have typified the premium beer sector for so long.

In addition, the bottle features a rugged alpine bas relief, with the Edelweiss motif also debossed in the ‘punt’ at the bottom of the bottle, designed to act as a seal of quality.

Siebert Head director Tim Corvin says, ‘This is a very significant project for Heineken and will in effect create a new category in the global beer market. Siebert Head has created a unique graphic and physical vocabulary for the brand which emphasises the unique alpine provenance and premium speciality positioning, and gives Edelweiss Snowfresh the credibility and authenticity to compete on a world stage.’

Corvin said the key design challenge of the project was in trying to find a cost-effective way to produce the glass bottle.

Heineken is set to release the product globally over the course of 2007 and 2008. It is expected to appear in the UK over the next few months.

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