Netherlands: Brewers Incentivize Heavy Student Alcohol Use
Brewers in the Netherlands are giving incentives to student’s associations and promoting heavy alcohol use among students.
Major brewers are offering student unions a large number of discounts which depend on how much alcohol they serve within a year. For example the ‘hectolitre bonus’ can be as high as 75% of the wholesale price if consumption is high enough.
A research by RTV Noord found that one fraternity organisation in Groningen received a €45,000 bonus for €60,000 worth of beer, paying €15,000 for a year’s supply.
Wim van Dalen, director of the Dutch institute for alcohol policy STAP says the Rijksuniversiteit and the Hanzehogeschool in the city recently signed a covenant with the city council to change the alcohol norm among students. However, financial incentives given to student clubs by brewers are undermining this policy.
Two major brewers – Heineken and Bavaria – have not disclosed whether they provide incentives in their contracts with student unions. But, Tom van Erven Dorens, who negotiates contracts between breweries and associations, said companies had obvious incentives to provide such discount schemes.
Brewers do this because student associations are a very interesting target group,” said Mr. Erven Dorens, as per Dutch News.nl.
Students [consume] a lot of beer and if students associate with a brand of beer, they’re more likely to [consume] that brand for the rest of their lives,” he added.
IOGT International previously reported evidence of the Big Alcohol strategy of targeting specific groups such as youth for their products, especially through their marketing.
Big Beer is particularly interested in targeting college students and is already doing this. For example in the United States, beer companies have started partnering with college football programs.