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Heineken Launches Contest to ‘Reinvent Beer Experience’
© Image: Ashley MacKinnon /

Heineken Launches Contest to ‘Reinvent Beer Experience’

Heineken’s Ideas Brewery launched an open innovation challenge on Tuesday, aiming to “reinvent the draught beer experience.”

This is Ideas Brewery’s second competition. The inaugural challenge asked for ways to make packaging more sustainable. Heineken announced last month that Germany’s Helmut Witteler won the $10,000 prize and the prestige that goes along with helping a top brand improve its sustainability index.

The newly launched competition will try to make beer drinking more entertaining and stimulating.

“Often, midway through the night, drinkers want a change of pace,” the challenge prompt reads. “The itch for party mode sees groups switching to spirits, shooters or other bottled drinks. These drinks bring the energy kick; they are perceived as more special or worth talking about. Imagine draught delivering that kind of effect; an engaging or energizing experience, at different moments during your great night out. That is what we are inviting you to create.”

The challenge is relatively broad in scope -- submissions can focus on anything from “sensory effects” to “interactivity.” Six finalists will go to Amsterdam in November to attend an idea-enhancing workshop; winners will be picked at the end of the seminar. The first place winner will take home $5000, and two runners-up will pocket $2,500 each.

Though in the past open innovation has been primarily used in industries that rely heavily on technological advancements, more food and beverage companies are beginning to apply an open approach to their research and development. General Mills, for example, came up with the Fiber One Brownie by looking outside its own R&D team. Kraft Foods also recently revamped its open innovation efforts with the launch of the Collaboration Kitchen.

So far, over a dozen proposals have been submitted for Heineken’s most recent foray into crowdsourced idea generation. The most favored one, “Drinking with the stars,” suggests that Heineken should build an augmented reality app that would allow revelers to imbibe with their favorite celebrities. Don’t like that idea? Submit you own -- that, after all, is the point.

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