Heineken is feeling the effects of the new alcohol discount laws

Heineken is feeling the effects of the new alcohol discount laws

International beer giant, Heineken, has admitted to already feeling the effects of the government’s new cap on alcohol discounts, with the brewery saying the market is having to adapt to the new rules.

How supermarket discounts affect the way people shop (and drink!)

On July 1, the Dutch government brought a new law into effect in the hopes it would curb (excessive) drinking, especially amongst young people in the Netherlands. Since the summer, discounts on alcoholic beverages have been capped at 25 percent for supermarkets and off-licenses. 

The timing of the new law meant the people of the Netherlands flocked to their local shop to stock up on crates of beer and bottles of wine, and June 2021 saw alcohol sales rose by an average of 32 percent across the country. At the time, Heineken said June was a “record month in terms of supermarket sales.”

Heineken reports 20 percent drop in sales over the summer

But now that the law has been in place for four months, Heineken has seen a notable drop in sales. According to the brewery, the third quarter of 2021 saw their beer sales from supermarkets and shops fall by around 20 percent in comparison to the same period last year.  

The warmer weather and lifting of various coronavirus restrictions did mean that Heineken saw sales increase in bars and restaurants, but over the past few months, many Dutch customers have turned their attention to other breweries, most notably Affligem, Texels, and Birra Moretti. 

Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink said the company was taking an “assertive attitude” in regards to the brewery’s pricing policy, but it is not clear whether this means prices could increase in the near future.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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