Carlsberg Group has hailed recent premiumisation initiatives for its Carlsberg and Somerbsy brands for delivering a jump in sales in its latest quarter despite declining volumes worldwide.
A 1.5 per cent rise in value sales to 12.90 billion kroner (£1.4bn) in the three months to 31 March helped offset a 3 per cent decline in total beer volumes. The brewer was able to manage the volume downturn by pushing its premium brands in key markets such as Western Europe and Asia. Carlsberg said the success of the global efforts meant its international premium brands “grew stronger” than regional volume growth.
It credited Carlsberg’s sponsorship of the Premier League for growing the brand by 2 per cent across 58 markets in the period as well as the success of its #CarlsbergTalk: live chats on Twitter with Liverpool FC, which have generated up to 1.2m impressions. Somersby was also singled out for its performance at the start of the year with the brewer labeling it the “fastest growing global cider brand”.
Tuborg almost doubled its volumes in the quarter, according to the brewer, while Kronenbourg established a “solid” footprint in the super premium segment across Asia.
It is backing the upcoming campaign to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Kronenbourg and its football-themed activity around the World Cup to spur volume sales over the crucial summer period.
Separately, AB InBev reiterated plans to boost its marketing budget by ‘low to mid teens’ in 2014 after a 16.7 per cent increase in its first quarter helped spark an 8.9 per cent jump in sales. The brewer credited product innovations and the launch of its World Cup campaign for the growth, although demand in the UK remained flat.
Inge Plochaet, business unit president at AB InBev UK, says: “The year has got off to a strong start, with volumes up 0.6% in the UK and Budweiser continuing to perform particularly well. We are looking forward to building on these results in the next quarter, with Budweiser as the official beer sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2014.”