How to revive jenever, a Dutch drink for the very old?

Hooghoudt, a family distillery from Groningen, has developed a diverse range of tasteful, high-quality liquors since 1888. Now, they have decided to focus and become a unique international powerhouse of innovation for the Dutch liquor Jenever. So, a brand strategy that provides guidance for new product development in home markets and abroad is very welcome.

Trend Forecasting

The Young worked closely with studio De Ronners to realize this project. We started with researching the Jenever tradition by means of field studies of history and trends and hit our heads against the Kopstoot, a Dutch tradition of pairing jenever with beer. We saw great potential in translating this old tradition into a new ritual: by combining the jenever with different craft beers. The innovative character of the microbrewery scene associated with craft beers gives the right edge to the old positioning of jenever.

Partnership event

To find the right taste combinations and credible rituals for the Kopstoot, we brought together a panel of tasting experts. We created a tasting event where beer sommeliers, chefs, café and restaurant owners could mingle, test and pair as much as they wanted. The best product infusions and tasting ritual were selected for the Kopstoot introduction.

Packaging Design

The Kopstootkabinet packaging is a concept by The Young en studio De Ronners that allows for a tasting of the Kopstoot as a modern ritual. To sip the Jenever and multiple beer flavours and enjoy both drinks slowly and with attention (rather than the old-fashioned way of downing a drink as quickly as possible). The experts‘ tasting notes will help consumers find their own taste preference and inspire them to try even more. The drawings by artist Anja Jager embrace craftsmanship with a contemporary edge.

Product development

Since the Kopstoot, The Young continuously works with Hooghoudt on different brand expressions and new product lines. We created international product concepts that truly embrace Hooghoudts values and experimental tastes and talents abroad.

Brand Manifest

Additionally, we created a Brand Manifest for future growth that allows Hooghoudt to showcase their ambitions and values amongst management stakeholders and provide the right energy and enthusiasm for their international ambitions.

The Kopstootkabinet has been launched at Gall&Gall and it’s proven to be a great success since its launch. From consumer reviews, we found out that our existing and new target group embraced the line completely. Additional to this tangible result, the contribution in strategy formulation and initial steps towards culture change are very valuable for our company. Together with The Young, we’ve realised a substantial change in becoming a value-driven organisation.

Niels Grootenboer (Marketing Manager Hooghoudt)