Inbev chief marketer faces Stella struggle

Inbev, the Belgian brewer, has moved Andreas Hilger, marketing director of its German division, to the same role in the UK. He replaces Devin Kelly, who left the company to return to his native US last year.

Hilger, who takes over on March 1, arrives in the UK as Inbev struggles to maintain the premium status of its Stella Artois brand.

In the UK, Stella continues to suffer a heavy year-on-year decline in volume despite being the number one premium lager brand.

Last week, the brand was dropped by pub chain Young’s because it has lost its premium status. It plans to replace it with rival brands such as Heineken, Amstel and Pilsner Urquell. Young’s operates more than 200 leased, tenanted and managed pubs in London and the South-east.

In his current role, Hilger has been responsible for the double-digit growth of Beck’s, Germany’s leading premium beer brand, and has launched a number of product extensions, including Beck’s Gold and Beck’s Green Lemon.

Before taking over Germany, he had global responsibility for Beck’s, Staropramen, Leffe and Hoegaarden.

Evans says Hilger has an “excellent track record”. He adds: “I am also glad that we have found such a great replacement, and it is testament to the talent in our company globally that we could fill the position internally.”

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