news Published on June 14, 2021

Brew a Better World: The Innovative DNA of HEINEKEN México

Innovation has been considered the vehicle to transform and improve the quality of life of human beings and the environment surrounding them for centuries; however, as needs evolve and demands increase to face today's challenges, a more comprehensive view of those who manage and execute these new ideas is also required.   

HEINEKEN México is very proud to say that in their 130 years of history, they have been characterized by having this innovative DNA that boosted the beer industry transformation, promoting a positive impact in society and the environment with implemented projects along the value chain for years.

There is no doubt that current times are challenging, which had led them to make their initiatives and projects even more ambitious to Brew a Better World in terms of sustainability, community, and quality on behalf of consumers.

Sustainable Innovation

For several years, Heineken has been working towards becoming the most sustainable beer company in Mexico, and with this, they have focused their efforts on addressing specific issues related to the conservation of water, the use of renewable energies, and the evolution of a linear business model to a circular one transforming all production processes.

Water is essential for our business, as it is the resource used from the cultivation of barley to the finished product. In this sense, with the Every Drop Counts program, they have been able to reduce the use of this natural element down to 2.5 liters of water per liter of beer produced when the industry standard is 4 liters. For instance, thanks to specialized training and innovative technology, they achieved at the plant in Orizaba, Veracruz to be the most efficient in water consumption globally.  

In Mexico, they also have the most sustainable brewery in the HEINEKEN world and the first circular ecosystem in the country located in Meoqui, Chihuahua, since it runs on 100% renewable energy sources that seek to care for the natural resources and their maximum usage such as photovoltaic windowpanes that produce approximately 12% of the electricity for the site.  

Heineken has also implemented conservation agriculture programs in the Mexican countryside, working closely with barley producers, offering training and technological tools that have helped them to reduce the use of water by up to 30% and increased the yield of their crops that supply our seven breweries in the country.

Transforming Communities

At HEINEKEN México, they always place their communities at the center of their priorities, and under this premise, they have managed to adapt the production processes to support them through challenging times as the recent sanitary contingency or in case of national emergencies. 

Since the COVID-19 began, the program #PorMéxicoPorTodos was launched in order to help the community and strategic allies such as restaurants and bars with different actions.

For the community, they stopped their beer production in order to produce water cans for vulnerable communities and adapted breweries to produce 50 tons of 'carbonic ice', from the CO2 that is used as a cooling agent, to make it available to the Mexican authorities to maintain the vaccine's temperature. Likewise, they had the vision of developing an antibacterial gel with the alcohol extracted from the manufacturing of our Heineken 0.0 beer to support more than 130 public institutions helping them to prevent the spread of the virus. 

These projects could be a reality thanks to the innovative vision and passion of our people that allowed, a solid collaboration between various areas of the organization.

A Multi-Category Portfolio for an Evolving Market

Given that consumers are always –and have always been– the priority, Heineken cannot ignore the challenge of continuing to update their products' portfolio to satisfy their needs responding to the moment. For this reason, they have decided to extend categories beyond beers with ciders, pre-mixed drinks, beers with low alcohol content, or without alcohol.

In the last year, new categories were introduced into the Mexican market such as hard seltzers –with Amstel Ultra and Pura Piraña brands—, and energy drinks with Solar Power. In this period, the COVID-19 pandemic led Heineken to reconsider their plans, calling to attention that Mexicans have shown a special interest in the non-alcoholic beverage Heineken 0.0, a product that showed double-digit growth responding to the need for a new lifestyle.

In the last decade, we have looked for a way to adapt, strengthening our portfolio with 21 brands and more than 35 products, achieving consolidation as a multi-category company in response to the global consumer trends. 

In HEINEKEN México, they are always searching for new technologies and alternatives to optimize our production, and even during challenging times, they have proven our resilient character combined with our continuous improvement skills to Brew a Better World. 

All information was written and sourced by Heineken Mexico.

Holland House Mexico would like to thank our HHM Orange Member Heineken Mexico for submitting this week's Expert Contribution.

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