AB InBev to focus marketing on lower alcohol variants as it adds nutrition to labelling

AB InBev will focus its marketing on its lower alcohol and alcohol-free options in the UK from as early as this month, as it seeks to empower consumers to make smarter drinking choices.

The focus on lower-alcohol and alcohol-free options fit in with AB InBev’s existing marketing strategy on responsible drinking and wider plans as part of its ‘Global Smart Drinking Goals’. These goals aim to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025.

The company’s marketing director for UK and Ireland Nick Robinson told Marketing Week: “Plans include ensuring that at least 20% of our global beer volume is alcohol-free or lower alcohol by 2020. You will start seeing marketing progress on this in the UK from as early as this month.”

The news comes in light of the beer company announcing earlier this week that it will show full ingredient and nutritional information on the labels of all its beers. The information will be available per 100ml as well as per portion size and will cover energy values, fat, saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and salt.

The changes will begin this year and be in place on the majority of its products by the end of 2017. Full nutritional information on all of AB InBev’s brands is already available to view online online via www.tapintoyourbeer.com.

Commenting on the company’s changes to its labelling, Anna Tolley, AB InBev’s legal and corporate affairs director UK, says: “We see this new pledge as further evidence that we take our role as a responsible brewer seriously and are dedicated to ensuring our consumers have all the information they need, and want, to make well informed choices.”

The company’s pledge follows results from a recent survey conducted by IPSOS Mori that revealed UK consumers have limited knowledge of calorie levels in beer, with less than one in five claiming to be aware of them.

It showed that providing more information on beer would be beneficial for consumers with over a third of respondents saying they pay close attention to their daily calorie consumption (36%), and 35% actively look at the calorie information of their drinks. This figure rises to nearly 50% (48%) among 18 to 29-year-olds.

UK consumers identified packaging (67%), brand websites (54%) and other information available online (43%) as the most essential channels for communicating calorie levels, nutritional information and information about ingredients.