Stella Artois is on a mission to re-establish itself as the world’s most popular premium lager.
The strategy, according to the brand’s global vice-president Tim Ovadia, is to bring back its tradition of “innovative marketing” and push into foodie culture by opening a chain of own-branded restaurants.
Consumers with a memory that stretches back to the 1980s and 1990s will remember Stella as a premium range that was sold as ‘Reassuringly Expensive’, before too much discounting dented its halo. In a brand manager’s nightmare, the AB InBev-owned brand became publicly labelled as ‘wife beater’ in the UK amid a backlash against binge drinking and its side effects.
But Ovadia says that, outside the UK, the brand played a different game and is better regarded as a result.
“Stella is the third most valuable beer brand in the world. It’s seen outside the UK as a highly sophisticated and premium beer brand,” he says.
More than that, the brand is on the expansion trail. Around 80% of its sales volume currently comes from six key markets.