It is understood that the lager was previously available in over 100 NUS bars, but the students’ union has decided that the “most popular student pint Stella Artois” will no longer be available after September 30, because “the NUS won’t buy it”.
The students’ union has also decided not to stock other Inbev-owned brands including draught Staropramen and Hoegaarden, and bottled beers Beck’s and Brahma.
The move comes despite the brewer dropping the strength of Stella in the on and off-trades from 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) to 5%. The brand has been desperate to improve its image and recently also launched a weaker 4% strength Stella (MW July 24).
The brand is also reported to be trialling Stella Artois Low Alcohol, which is only 0.5%, in some Tesco stores. The 0.5% ABV brand is already sold elsewhere is Europe, including Belgium and France.
A statement from Inbev says/ “InBev UK and NUS Services (NUSS) have failed to agree an extension to an existing distribution agreement for draught and packaged beer brands.
InBev UK stresses that this is the result of a commercial decision based purely on a failure to agree satisfactory business terms with NUSS, and in no way reflects the sales performance of its brands in NUS outlets.
“Although it is disappointing to lose any customer, this distribution loss should be kept in perspective, because the rate of on-trade ‘churn’ is traditionally high, and a major brewer will, on average, win or lose distribution in around 3,000 outlets a year.”