US brewer Anheuser-Busch is launching its own jeans and clothing range in the UK next month under the Budweiser brand.
The move makes the brewer the first alcoholic drinks company to break into the clothing market.
The range is aimed at the core market for Budweiser drinkers, 18- to 24-year-old males, and is being launched at the 40 degrees design show in London next month.
The jeans will be premium-priced at about 60 a pair – more expensive than Levi 501s, for instance – and will be distributed in leading fashion and sports retailers.
The clothing range also reflects Budweiser’s connections with basketball, as the brand is planning to use members of the UK basketball league, which it sponsors, to model the clothes.
Although clothing is a first for the alcoholic drinks market, cigarette brands Marlboro and Camel have both launched clothing lines.
Budweiser is launching into a market dominated by brands such as Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler and Pepe, while Virgin is launching its own jeans later this year and US company Guess is opening a jeans store next month.
Anheuser-Busch took over UK sales and marketing of Budweiser from Courage in 1991 and has built it into the country’s largest-selling premium lager in bottles and cans.