The Drum Asia: How Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore took the Alps to Asia for its Edelweiss launch

The Drum Asia: How Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore took the Alps to Asia for its Edelweiss launch

How Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore took the Alps to Asia for its Edelweiss launch

Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APBS) has expanded its portfolio of beers to include Edelweiss to satisfy its consumers’ need for new experiences, says managing director of APBS, Andy Hewson.

Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APBS) has a portfolio of some of the biggest beer brands in the world, but as tastes become more nuanced and specialized in Asia, the company is keeping its ear to the ground on trends in its core markets such as Singapore.
The Drum spoke to Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore managing director Andy Hewson about its latest brand launch for Edelweiss, and why it needed to take a fresh approach to its brand marketing.

What was the insight that led to launching this beer?

Consumers are increasingly seeking out new experiences and tastes. Wheat beers have grown in popularity among consumers who want to experience an authentic quality beer. Our ambition is to meet these changing consumer tastes with a new premium wheat beer that captures the spirit of the Alps to the local beer market thirsty for novel and more quality offerings.

Locally, the wheat beer category has expanded by a compound annual growth rate of 291 % over five years, and the value of the segment is expected to hit S$33m by 2022. The wheat beer category is poised for further growth, and the launch of Edelweiss is a strategic step to unlocking a new taste experience fueled by the growing popularity of non-lager beers among consumers, especially women. Through Edelweiss, we hope to inspire Singaporeans to discover the world of beer beyond lager and unlock more drinking occasions to enjoy this premium wheat beer from the Alps.

How do you decide on what to focus on in terms of marketing when entering a beer into a new market?

As Singapore’s largest brewery, no one knows the tastes and flavors of Singapore as we do and we’re constantly innovating to remain top of mind. We take a consumer-and­-trend-centric approach by staying tuned in to the interests of aspirational drinkers and keeping ourselves updated on evolving trends. Innovation is at the heart of our business and it helps us ensure that the beers that we introduce and the consumer experiences that we bring remain relevant and relatable to our audience.

Over recent years, we have seen a trend towards ‘premiumization’ characterized by an increased consumer focus on authenticity, unique experiences, flavor, high-quality ingredients and even more appealing design. Basically, consumers are getting savvier and they want to be drinking better.

It is the right time for us to be launching Edelweiss in Singapore. Born in the heights of the Austrian Alps and brewed using a 375-year-old recipe using all-natural ingredients and a unique blend of mountain herbs, the introduction of Edelweiss is set to bring a whole new cool Alpine taste experience to local beer drinkers seeking variety and quality wheat beer.

How has that translated into marketing?

We wanted to hero the brand’s provenance as a key element of the consumer storytelling journey. Through its heritage and flavors, Edelweiss immerses our consumers in the most authentic sensory experience of the mountains. This is what inspired us to use the Alps as a perfect metaphor to represent the essence of the brand, from its origins to the purity of ingredients, and the unique positioning we have created to revitalize and invigorate our consumers.

‘Feel the Alps’ is the brand positioning of Edelweiss and the tagline that was used to launch in Singapore. It’s about honoring the brand’s longstanding heritage as an authentic wheat beer while also conveying the essence of the product’s unique, fresh flavor that’s like taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air. The European Alps are free, wild and exciting, and Edelweiss captures that Alpine spirit.

To translate this emotive connection into an experience, we hero our campaign with a visual unlike any other. Featuring the Alps as a backdrop with Singapore’s iconic skyline at the forefront, we leveraged imagination and inspiring brand stories to invite our consumers into the world of Edelweiss.

The Alps is a long way from Singapore – how do you translate that feeling to consumers?

The ‘Feel the Alps’ campaign is a nod to Edelweiss’s authentic Alpine origins and brings the freedom, excitement and playfulness of life on the Alps to beer drinkers in Singapore.
Edelweiss strikes a unique balance between authenticity and modernity. Edelweiss’s traditional heritage can be traced back to the 17th century, making it one of the world’s first-ever wheat beers. Fast forward to today and Edelweiss is still brewed following that same 375-year-old recipe. It is also a fresh, revitalizing beer that captures the spirit of its Alpine origins, making it the perfect drink for busy, modern city-dwellers hoping to refresh with a sip of Alpine coolness.

The product aims to give beer drinkers a taste of the fun of life on the Alps – from the subtle fruit and floral notes, evoking feelings of walking through lush mountain valleys, to a smooth, cool finish like freshly fallen snow. It is a wheat beer for those who want to put seriousness aside for a moment and embrace their playful side by experiencing a taste of Alpine adventure.

Across all our assets, the campaign prominently features the iconic alpine mountain range and fun snowy pursuits as a nod to the brand’s provenance. The Alps was also central to the design of our unique mountain-shaped Edelweiss kit that was sent to media and influencers. It aimed to introduce the brand, drawing attention to its origins with sensorial elements from the floral and herbal arrangement to give a taste of what Edelweiss is all about.

While traveling may not be on the cards right now, we hope that a refreshing sip of Edelweiss will transport Singaporeans from the warm, humid tropics to the snowy peaks of the Alps across the senses:

  • Sight: its distinctive golden cloudiness resembles being at the top of the foggy Alps
  • Smell: its scent comes from all-natural ingredients, alpine water and a unique blend of mountain herbs, most of which can be found in the Alps
  • Taste: its crisp, cool bite leaves the drinker feeling refreshed, just like being in the Alps

What channels are you using to promote the beer and why?

We are speaking to aspirational men and women of the legal drinking age. They are premium beer drinkers who enjoy exploring new tastes and trying new experiences in their everyday lives. We know these consumers can get caught up in the bustle of everyday city life, and across all our communications Edelweiss invites them to refresh, revitalize and have fun.

Edelweiss is a massive widespread launch for us where we drive availability island-wide across all channels from supermarkets to restaurants and online platforms. One of our biggest campaigns this year, we’re running a 360° ‘Feel the Alps’ campaign on digital, social media, OOH and selected on-ground activations, as well as engaging in influencer and content marketing and PR to spread the word.

Through every impactful media touch point island-wide, we invite consumers to step into the world of Edelweiss from bus wraps, 6 sheet posters and large panel screens to a full takeover at the Orchard MRT station that extended a larger-than-life alpine experience.

The focus is definitely on bringing the brand story to life through digital channels, which is where consumers are at. We’re leaning heavily on user-generated content to lend authenticity and have also co-created content with influencers, inviting Singaporeans to unlock a new taste experience and ‘Feel the Alps’.

We’ve also been partnering with e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada to drive sampling and make the product more accessible to beer drinkers staying at home during this period.

And, finally, what can we expect to see from the brand as it grows in Singapore?

Wheat beer is a booming category in Singapore, fueled by surging consumer demand for novel and more premium offerings. Though the segment is still considerably small compared to lager, we believe there is huge potential for growth, and we are fully prepared to leverage this trend to grow the wheat category to new heights as part of our beyond beer strategy.

The launch of Edelweiss in Singapore is set to unlock a new taste experience fueled by the growing popularity of non-lager beers among consumers, especially women. Just as the product strives to deliver the freedom, excitement and playfulness of life in the Alps, we also hope to create more experiences that would bring a taste of Alpine adventure to beer drinkers in Singapore.