Head Corporate affairs
"We want people to be able to enjoy beer, but in a responsible way! I have a family with children, which makes me realize the importance of striving for only responsible alcohol consumption even more."
Many consumers enjoy drinking beer. And we’d like to keep it that way! We’re a brewer, so of course we want to sell beer. At the same time, however, we want to watch out for the harmful effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption. It is up to us to provide good information and to act responsibly.
Grolsch supports self-regulation and control. We do not believe in banning advertising alcohol, increasing tax on beer and limiting the availability of alcoholic beverages by law. In our opinion, these are not the right measures to combat alcohol abuse. Only a targeted approach, tailored to the right demographic, will ensure that beer lovers can continue to enjoy a beer responsibly in the future.
New non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers added to range
No new non-alcoholic beers were added this year. However, a 0.0 campaign was developed and we launched Grolsch 0.0FM.
Further roll out of our Responsible Alcohol Instruction (IVA) courses among Grolsch customers and associates
This has been put on hold because of COVID-19
Replacement of boarding along sports fields with 0.0% beer
87% of the boarding on sports fields has been replaced by 0.0%.
Set up two activities in partnership that focus on alcohol and traffic
Supporting initiatives to improve the visibility and awareness of FAS
Financial contribution to FAS project for awareness of FAS
Koert van't Hof, Corporate Affairs Director - Royal Grolsch:
“Average alcohol consumption in the Netherlands is declining. Dutch people are drinking less and less and are doing so at increasingly later ages. In recent years, we have seen a particularly large drop among young people. That is good news! 92% of all Dutch people enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner, which means that only 8% are prone to alcohol abuse. We would like to reduce this percentage even more, contributing with a range of different activities. We have a strict alcohol policy that focuses on responsible commercial communications, the behaviour of our own employees and promoting responsible alcohol consumption. Last year, we also pledged our commitment to the National Prevention Agreement, among others. We support the importance of measures against excessive alcohol consumption and seek to make an active contribution.”
Consumers are paying more and more attention to their health and are making more conscious choices. They are therefore increasingly opting for a non-alcoholic beer. We further expanded our portfolio of 0.0% beers in 2020. We introduced Grolsch Radler Minder Zoet 0.0% and Grolsch Herfstbier 0.0%. With these introductions we are responding to the growing popularity of non-alcoholic beers in the Netherlands. We now have seven alcohol-free beers in our portfolio.
Watch the video about the new face-to-face training Instructie Verantwoord Alcoholschenken (Serving Alcohol Responsibly) here.
Grolsch takes a proactive approach to communicating about responsible alcohol consumption. There are multiple ways in which we share the importance of drinking beer responsibly with our consumers, such as the educational logos on our labels, the website overalcohol.nl, and national and regional projects, such as our BOB campaign. In addition, an internal committee reviews all our ads, which must comply with the National Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages (STIVA) as well as our own, internal advertising code. At Grolsch, we take our responsibility seriously.
Naturally, we also pay a lot of attention to responsible alcohol consumption within the company, as we have an important role to play: providing accurate, considered information about responsible alcohol consumption and making sure that, as Grolsch employees, we take our responsibility during work and in our free time. Our employee guidelines can be found in our alcohol policy. All our employees follow these guidelines. In our Beer Ambassador Programme, a basic programme about beer, the brewing process, our brands and our company, all employees are also told about Grolsch’s vision on responsible alcohol consumption.
In the Netherlands, it is estimated that over 500 children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) every year, resulting from alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Grolsch supports the FAS project in order to continue to increase awareness of FAS in the Netherlands. We want to communicate clearly that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is an irresponsible choice. In 2019, we made a financial contribution to optimising the website and other digital resources for the FAS project, as well as developing interactive infographics to support presentations and exhibitions about FAS.
Booze, an educational theatre project, strives to increase awareness of the risks associated with alcohol consumption among young people. In order to really reach pupils, they take to classrooms themselves, acting out various scenes for the pupils. After each scene, the pupils split up into groups to discuss their thoughts. Booze is an initiative developed by the Kikid Foundation in collaboration with STIVA. STIVA is committed to promoting responsible alcohol consumption. As a partner of STIVA, Grolsch supports the Booze project financially, as well as spreading the word about the project through our network. In 2019, Booze organised multiple performances at secondary schools throughout the country.
Watch the video about the educational theatre project here.
Together with the 'Rijden Zonder Invloed' campaign, we carried out various actions to make consumers and employees aware of the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. For example, we organized meetings for high school students. In a 3D tripping simulator, the future or starting drivers could safely experience that alcohol and traffic do not go well together. During the Grolsch Open Brewery Days, visitors could also experience what it is like to drive under the influence of alcohol. They had the opportunity to drive a so-called Alco-kart on a course, in which the kart reacts as if the driver is under the influence of alcohol. A nice example of cooperation in the field of responsible alcohol consumption.
In cooperation with the ‘Rijden Zonder Invloed’ Campaign, and Military Boekelo – Enschede, we organised another Alcohol & Traffic awareness activity at the Military in October 2019. In a 3D driving simulator, visitors could experience what it is like to drive a car after having had too much to drink. Invited guests could also park their car in a special BOB car park for designated drivers equipped with an alcohol barrier. After the event, the designated driver took a breath test to prove that they had not had any alcohol. If they passed the test, the alcohol barrier would be opened. We also launched our new Grolsch Herstbier 0.0% at the Military, which was available at all catering outlets on the site.