Stella Artois – The Wellness Beer Brand?


Wellness is hot. These days it seems like any business, service or product that could possibly have any sort of Wellness angle is leveraging the beejeezus out of it. Mindfulness is no doubt a key element of Wellness. So, help people achieve a state of mindfulness and you’re well on the way to becoming a Wellness brand.

Let’s play a little word association game. I’m going to say a word and then you say the first word that pops into your head. Ready? Ok, here we go…


And your answer?

Was it Beer?

No? How odd.

Joy of Life

Well, it seems the folks over at Stella Artois play this game a bit differently to the rest of us. Because they’ve just launched their own, branded mindfulness experience, available through the Inscape meditation app.

Welsh actor Luke Evans narrates the 20 minute audio experience that was created to “help people rethink how they enjoy a Stella Artois.”, according to Harry Lewis, Vice President of Stella Artois.

The meditation concept is part of a broader campaign entitled Joie de Biere (Joy of Beer) intended to refresh the 92 year old Belgian beer brand. And I reckon the whole thing is pretty clever.

Wellness Washing?

Of course, there will be those who say this is a classic case of Wellness Washing. Stella is just trying to jump on the Wellness Bandwagon and get some mileage out pretending to be a wellness product, when in fact they are not. Indeed, a recent report in The Lancet on the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 states that no amount of alcohol is good for your overall health.

But let’s take a slightly less purist view of this.

The fact is, to many people, in many cultures, a quiet beer or two with friends is a great social experience. Having grown up in Australia, there a lots of pubs with fantastic natural scenery and settings. Sitting in the beer garden at the Portsea Pub, looking out across Port Phillip Bay, sipping a nice cold beer, is a pretty soothing experience. This would be a great setting to tune into the STELLASPACE mindfulness journey. Could the same be achieved without the beer? Sure. But is it really doing me so much damage with the beer added in? I don’t think so.

This time it’s Personal

A few years ago the folks at Spa Business asked me, along with a number of others, for my personal definition of wellness. What I said then was, just sitting on the beach, under a coconut tree, watching the sun go down, sipping a glass of red wine is certainly something that makes me feel well. Needless to say, this was not consistent with the answers the other interviewees gave. But I wasn’t trying to be funny. I genuinely meant it. If doing that helps me relax and unwind and avoid stress, isn’t that Wellness? Kinda?

Wellness is personal. And it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.