After the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) yesterday issued a statement stating that non-alcoholic beer was made from the same process of making alcoholic drinks and Muslims are prohibited from taking the drink, Heineken has clarified “that Heineken 0.0 is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above.”
"All Heineken 0.0 products are only available at the non-halal zone of supermarkets and convenience stores, with clear signage indicating that the product is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above only," Heineken Malaysia Berhad, the local arm of Dutch brewing giant Heineken said. "In addition, for stores without designated non-halal areas, we are placing clear signages to inform consumers that Heineken 0.0 is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above."
Heineken 0.0 was launched in 2017 in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, followed by the UK and France (inside.beer, 14.5.2017). Canada was in January 2018 the first country in North America to launch Heineken 0.0 but it was not before July 3 that Heineken gained approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on labels for 12-ounce bottles of Heineken 0.0 which is a prerequisite for a launch in the USA (inside.beer, 11.10.2018).
The product made its debut in Asia in 2018, launching in Singapore, followed by Thailand earlier this year. On June 20, 2019, Heineken 0.0 was officially presented to the consumers in Malaysia and the national roll-out started in July.
It is now available in 39 countries worldwide, including Europe, North America, and Australia.
"The purpose for introducing Heineken 0.0 in Malaysia is to provide a choice for non-Muslim consumers who enjoy the taste of beer, but not necessarily the effects of alcohol, particularly beer drinkers who seek to moderate their alcohol consumption as part of a balanced lifestyle," Heineken said.
Alcohol is forbidden for Muslims, who make up over 60 percent of the Malaysia's multi-racial population.
Heineken Malaysia Berhad was incorporated on 24 January 1964 under the name of Guinness Malaysia Limited. In 1989 the company merged with Malayan Breweries (Malaya), whose parent companies was Malayan Breweries Ltd (the present Asia Pacific Breweries Limited).On 7 October 2015, Heineken acquired the remaining shares owned by Diageo and renamed the company into Heineken Malaysia Berhad.