AB InBev brand push spurs UK volumes

AB InBev’s advertising campaigns for its Budweiser and Stella Artois brands have helped lift volumes in the UK in its latest quarter as the brewer’s attempts to get consumers to pay more for their drinks continues to gain traction.

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Campaigns for brands such as Stella Artois helped lift AB InBev UK volumes.

The world’s largest brewer by sales posted a 4.2 per cent year-on-year jump in UK volumes including cider for the three months to 30 September. It continues an upswing in demand across the region from the previous quarter with the company ramping up activity around its Budweiser and Jay-Z tie-up alongside its Stella Artois premiumisation strategy in the months since to maintain its momentum.

Despite the performance, AB Bev revealed market share for the region had been hampered by ongoing promotional pressure in the first nine months of the year.

Inge Plochaet, president of AB InBev UK, says: ““We are pleased with the performance of AB InBev UK’s beer and cider brands this quarter.  We have seen increases in both volume and equity for Stella Artois, supported by our Connoisseurs Programme which brings the perfect pour to discerning on-trade outlets.

”Budweiser and Stella Artois Cidre have also seen strong volume growth year on year, boosted by the good weather over the summer.  Our investment in innovative marketing, for example the Stella Artois Cidre temperature-activated advertising campaign, has also helped to increase brand equity and drive purchase.”

Globally, like-for-like revenue grew 3 per cent to $11.73bn (£7.3bn) in the period, while volumes slipped 1.3 per cent, dented by a 1.4 per cent drop in the amount of beer sold. The revenue lift is a fillip to the company’s focus on selling pricier beers at a time when demand in emerging markets across Latin America is flagging.

The company said it was not “satisfied” with its top line performance in 2013, which it claimed was impacted by “macroeconomic headwinds” in several markets. It is planning for a “fast start in 2014” and said it was readying sponsorship activity around next year’s FIFA World Cup.

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