Stella Artois sees UK revival

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) says its strategy to revitalise Stella Artois in the UK market with the 4% brand extension, new glasses and marketing campaign has proven successful.

Stella Artois, a brand seen to have been struggling to justify its premium position due to deep discounting at supermarkets and associations with heavy drinking, “revered a declining trend in brand health”, according to the multinational brewer’s first quarter results.

ABInBev said own beer volumes fell 6.8% in the UK in the first quarter but Stella Artois and becks performed well.

Stuart MacFarlane, InBev President of UK and Ireland says: “We are extremely pleased to have gained market share for two successive financial quarters despite the difficult market conditions and challenging economic climate.

“The successful UK performance can be attributed to product renovation and innovation supported by the launch of Stella Artois 4% last year.

“The roll out of the Chalice glass – developed to complement Stella Artois and Stella Artois 4% in the on-trade – has further enhanced the drinking experience by keeping our beer 23% colder than other pint glasses after ten minutes.

“We have also invested in a new creative strategy for the brand, which includes re-designed fonts in the on-trade, the introduction of new packaging for Stella Artois and an extensive new TV and outdoor campaign for Stella Artois 4% to boost awareness of the brand.”

A new campaign for Stella Artois 4% has just launched crated by Mother. It retains the 60s French Riviera theme the agency develop after winning the advertising account from Lowe.

ABInBev overall results show global volumes up 0.9% with own beer volumes 0.5%, led by a 3.5% increase in “Focus Brands”, which include Brahma, Bud Light and Skol. Revenues grew 4.7% led by Latin America North.

Western Europe saw own beer volumes down 3.5% and total volume down 8.3%.

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