HEINEKEN encourages South Africans to consume alcohol responsibly

Beer is a natural fermented drink that is able to bring people together from all walks of life and is part of our lives, especially during celebratory occasions. When enjoyed in moderation, beer can be part of a balanced lifestyle.

However, there are clear health and behavioural risks, when alcohol is not consumed responsibly. In fact on some occasions, it is better not to drink at all. There is a blight in society in the form of irresponsible consumption that leads to a number of negative outcomes, chief among these being drinking and driving.

Drunk driving remains a challenge within South Africa. 2017/18 crime statistics from the SAPS showed a nearly 15% increase (to 86 160 cases) in motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, when compared to the 2015/16 stats. Furthermore, these figures (Jan-August 2018) from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) showed that the majority of arrests made by the JMPD during this period, were as a result of people driving under the influence.

As a business, HEINEKEN is committed to promoting the responsible consumption of its beers and cider. This is because harmful drinking is damaging to society and the reputation of our industry. To further strengthen the effectiveness of its When You Drive, Never Drink’ campaign – speared headed by its flagship beer Heineken – the company commissioned a global study designed to understand the behavioural triggers that cause people to drink and drive.

This builds on the company’s long-standing commitment to advocate for responsible drinking. The study is a step towards better understanding the issues that exist around drink driving and with these insights, create effective campaigns to positively influence consumer behaviour.

The key local findings of the global study include:

South Africa has the highest prevalence of drunk driving among all of the countries surveyed. · Nearly one in nine drivers (87%) have driven after consuming alcohol, much higher than the global average of 68%.

· One in two drivers (53%) claim to have driven unsure whether they are within the legal alcohol consumption limit in their country - compared to the global average of 38%.

· The majority (58%) of those driving under the influence of alcohol are concerned about getting caught by the police.

Drunk drivers in South Africa are more likely than the global average to find justification for their behavior.

· 84% of drivers find at least one situation where it is acceptable to drink and drive compared to the worldwide average of 77%

· One in two drivers find it acceptable to drive home after consuming alcohol if they have taken a short nap before driving (55%), or if they have alternated between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (50%)

Our ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ campaign gives us an unprecedented opportunity to help influence attitudes and enables us to play a role in assisting consumers in making positive and safer choices. For our campaign to be effective, we really need to dig deep in order to understand the causes of the problem.”

Gerrit Van Loo, Managing Director of HEINEKEN South Africa

To play our part in reducing drunk driving, we have developed a responsible drinking campaign in South Africa, to test and measure drink driving reduction initiatives.”

Gerrit Van Loo, Managing Director of HEINEKEN South Africa

HEINEKEN has partnered with Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg to spread a powerful anti-drunk driving message that encourages responsible consumption as an aspirational mindset. By doing so, the company is leveraging the power of the global Heineken® brand to make moderation cool, rather than employing negative scare tactics that do little to dissuade the public from drinking and driving. That attitude being that whether you’re a Formula 1 champion or the hero who’s driving everyone home – even just one beer is too many. This global campaign is conveyed to audiences worldwide through F1 circuit branding, TV commercials, digital activations, live fan experiences and events, dedicated PR initiatives as well as packaging/point-of-sale activations.

Positively influencing consumer behaviour is a matter of integrating visual feedback and behavioural principles into decision making moments. The social group can be of great, positive influence on the decision not to drink and drive. As HEINEKEN, we will focus on solutions that can empower the group to stay in control and positively encourage their peers to make the correct decisions.

Gerrit Van Loo, Managing Director of HEINEKEN South Africa

About HEINEKEN:

HEINEKEN is the world’s most international brewer, boasting a powerful portfolio of more than 250 international, regional, local and specialty beers as well as ciders. HEINEKEN is one of the world’s leading employers, with HEINEKEN South Africa recently being certified as a 2019 Top Employer in South Africa for a fifth consecutive time by the Top Employers Institute. Locally, the company employs more than 900 staff and approximately 600 external sales people.


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