On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: Corona-driven category growth

by Louise Burgers. The non-alcoholic drinks category has shown growth recently, along with many health products, as a result of consumer behaviour change during the pandemic.

by Louise Burgers. As South African consumers’ alcohol stocks have run out, the non-alcoholic category has shown growth recently along with many health products: Heineken and Deep Heat are brands that are finding opportunity during these challenging times.

Alcohol-free beer sales increase

Heineken South Africa’s alcohol-free beer, Heineken 0.0 will now be more widely available at select Woolworths Food stores, giving consumers more beverage choice. The beer is described as having “refreshing fruity notes and a soft malty body”. “Globally, Heineken has seen strong growth in the alcohol-free segment and expects this to continue, driven by the global cultural trend of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Locally, we have seen an increase in alcohol-free beer sales, making it even more important to match this growing demand,” said Jason Cox, sales director at Heineken South Africa. Apart from Woolies, the range is also available at Pick n Pay (with an increased grocery footprint), Checkers, Spar, OK Foods, President Hyper, and wholesale partners such as Makro and Norman Goodfellas; as well as online platforms Takealot.com and the Bottles App. Alcohol-free beer is a classification for beverages containing 0.05% alc./vol. or less. Heineken 0.0 contains 0.03% alc./vol. Clearly some beer drinkers have converted, given the category growth; the rest are still playing with pineapples in their kitchens.

A hot new look

Deep Heat has updated its look with a packaging upgrade and refined logo. Mentholatum SA, the makers of Deep Heat, said the new pack design was aimed at standing out on shelf as well as to explain the product benefits. Said Lisa Lewis, senior brand manager: “The new look packaging, allows consumers to easily identify the exact benefits of each product option, enabling consumers to match the product best suited to their ailment.” A survey, conducted to gauge consumer opinion before bedding down the final design, revealed that 74% of respondents felt that the new product packaging was not only visually appealing, but that it would most definitely stand out on the shelf, making it easier to find. The Deep Heat range comprises of 17 heat therapy products including rubs, sprays, patches, roll-ons and arnica. It offers clinically proven pain relief for everyday aches and pains such as rheumatic stiffness and muscle soreness. A savvy time to relaunch with so many South Africans suddenly taking up exercise to get out of their houses during the three-hour lockdown window allowed each day.

Memes and screens

If 2020 was a bag of chips… #justsaying.

Memes keep us sane during these crazy times; and luckily South Africans are the very best at laughing at ourselves and creating memes to lighten the mood in the face of utter disruption.


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter every Monday and Thursday • Subscribe here

– Take advantage of Retailing Africa’s ‘Pay-what-you-can’ business support package • Read more