AB Inbev buoyed by Stella Cidre success

AB Inbev claims that Stella Cidre, its first foray in to the UK cider category, has grabbed a 16% share of the premium cider market after just three months on the shelves.

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The brand is “on track to become one of the UK’s most successful new product launches in the consumer product category”, the company claims in its second quarter results statement. Market share data was attributed to Nielsen.

Stella Cidre launched in April to exploit the buoyant UK cider category currently led by Magners and Bulmers. The introduction was backed by a major marketing push in the retro sixties style used in activity for master brand Stella Artois.

The brand’s early gains are a fillip to AB INBEV UK amid an otherwise sluggish second quarter performance.

Beer volumes slipped 16% in the three months to 30 June as the brewer suffered from comparisons with a World Cup inspired bump in the same period last year. Volume rose 18.6% in the second quarter of 2010.

The company marketed its brands, particularly the tournament’s official beer Budweiser, heavily in the build up to and during the World Cup to exploit additional sales opportunities.

The drop in football-related activity slowed growth in marketing spend globally to 3.9%. Full year investment is expected to grow at “mid to high single digits” the company says.

Price hikes to offset increased commodity costs helped lift worldwide revenue 3.7% to $9.17bn in the period on volume growth of just 0.3%. Net profit grew 26% to $1.45bn.

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