Stella is axing Peeterman Artois and Eiken Artois in an attempt to focus on its newly launched 4% Stella Artois. The brands were launched over the past two years a bid to broaden the appeal of the Artois family.
The move comes months after brewer Inbev axed the Bock brand from the Artois family to replace it with Eiken, earlier in the year. The launch of 4.6% Eiken, brewed using hand-picked hops, was supported by a heavy-weight press campaign created by Lowe London. The agency has since been dropped by Stella Artois.
Peeterman, launched in 2006, was an attempt to woo the younger drinkers (MW, March 30, 2006). Its launch formed part of Inbev’s strategy to grow the Artois family of beers alongside the existing flagship Stella Artois (MW March 9, 2006).
According to insider, the “family of beers” positioning aimed to soften the image of the flagship brand, which has become associated with the British binge drinking culture.
Stuart MacFarlane, president InBev UK and Ireland says: “In order to focus support and investment on Stella Artois – the UK’s No.1 premium lager – and the recently launched Stella Artois 4%, InBev UK is phasing out Eiken Artois and Peeterman Artois.
“Stella Artois 4% has already proved to be the most successful lager brand to be recently launched in the off trade and it is complementing the established success of Stella Artois which is the most widely available draught lager in UK pubs and the third biggest grocery brand in the UK.
“InBev UK is informing stockists of the decision and will continue to work with them to ensure that the InBev UK range of brands, including Stella Artois and Stella Artois 4%, reflects their consumer profile and commercial needs.
“Eiken Artois and Peeterman Artois will be phased out in the on trade by the end of the year and in the off trade by April 2009.”