Budweiser marketing push lifts UK sales

AB InBev has credited the marketing drive for its Budweiser brand in the UK for helping boost sales of the brand in the second quarter.


Volume sales of the beer brand in the off-trade leapt 13.6 per cent year-on-year for the 12 weeks to 15 June. The brewer hailed recent campaigns such as a music-themed on-pack promotion for driving volume and market share during the period.

Retail sales of Budweiser for the first half of the year jumped 4.3 per cent year-on-year to £118m according to IRI data. Volumes of the beer sold also jumped 5.6 per cent year-on-year to 1.4bn litres over the same period. The growth comes amid the ongoing decline of the beer category which saw lager sales drop 1.3 per cent year-on-year to £1.3bn in the period and volumes fall 5.9 per cent year-on-year to 558m litres.

The shift is a fillip to the brewer’s long-term strategy for the Budweiser brand which aims to make it the world’s first truly global beer brand. A music campaign, backed by Rihanna and Jay-Z, is being prepped to spearhead the strategy later this year. Additionally, the brewer is looking to capitalise on the good weather in the UK with the launch of a Budweiser branded BBQ pack in partnership with Sainsbury’s.

Despite Budweiser’s growth, AB InBev’s total UK sales across other brands such as Stella Artois and Beck’s in the second quarter plummeted 8.6 per cent year-on-year as the brewer struggled against the ongoing decline of the country’s beer industry. The brewer also blamed increased promotional activity in supermarkets for denting value sales. It is hoped upcoming digital activity including the launch of an ecommerce hub and a video push across Facebook and YouTube can reach new drinkers.

Elsewhere, the brewer reported a 3.9 per cent year-on-year increase in total global revenues to $10.6bn (£7bn) for the three months to 30 June. It is prioritising its more expensive, premium beers such as Budweiser and Stella Artois as well as as craft beers such as Shock Top to offset waning demand in its more mature western markets.

Budweiser UK beer sales: First half of 2013 – Source IRI Worldwide

  First half 2012 First half 2013
Budweiser value sales £113,552,759 £118,317,212
Budweiser volume sales First half 2012 First half 2013
  49,026,626 51,751,610
Lager value sales £1,309,943,424 £1,276,485,120
Lager volume sales 625,622,208 588,548,736