Beer glass (Photo: Luiz Felipe Silva Carmo, Unsplash)
08 October 2020

Heineken trials in-store beer taps in Paris supermarket

France | The covid-19 pandemic forces brewers to get more creative. Long a feature of US supermarkets, Heineken has finally latched onto the concept in Europe. The brewer is running a trial for draught beer dispensers and returnable growlers in a supermarket in Paris.

As reported the website on 22 September 2020, Heineken is offering three different beers by the craft brewer Gallia at the Monoprix supermarket in the borough of Montparnasse.

Gallia, which harks back to a discontinued Paris brewery (1890-1969), was founded in 2009 in a northeastern suburb of Paris. When Gallia reached sales of 9,000 hl beer in 2019, Heineken acquired a minority stake.

Fool-proof concept

Heineken’s in-store taps work such that punters place a 930 ml growler under the tap, then close the door in front of the tap, and wait for a minute until the bottle is filled. The bottles are sealed with a screw cap. The machine next issues an adhesive label, which displays all the relevant information as well as the barcode for the checkout. When returning the container, customers receive their EUR 1.50 (USD 1.80) deposit.

The system doesn’t rely on punters re-filling their own growlers, but allows them to use a new one each time they purchase a beer.

Heineken partnered with the start-up firm Lemon Tri to collect, clean and return the bottles. To this effect, Lemon Tri set up shop next to the Gallia brewery in Pantin to share logistics. This means that the beer will have travelled less than 20 km from the brewery to the consumer.

The pilot will be extended to around thirty stores within the next six months. If successful, Heineken may offer more brands from its portfolio for in-store dispense.


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