Anheuser-Busch is attacking the UK’s number one premium lager, Stella Artois from Whitbread, with the launch of its premium Budweiser lager brand in 440ml cans which will have the same price as Stella.
Since its launch in the UK, Budweiser has been sold in the smaller 330ml cans, and has established its position as the second-best selling premium lager after Stella in value terms.
Anheuser-Busch refused to comment on the launch, but trade sources say the launch in the larger cans, set for the end of April, will be a significant development in the lager market.
One buyer says: “The biggest brand is being taken on by the second biggest. Budweiser has come this far through 330ml cans alone. But it’s a one shot company. Even though it has got Michelob and Bud Ice, Budweiser is still its main brand.”
The bigger can will allow Budweiser to increase its prices to match Stella, which has built its reputation as a “reassuringly expensive” drink.