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    You are here: Company information - AB Inbev UK Ltd, UK Head Office

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    Company information

    AB Inbev UK Ltd, UK Head Office

    Great Britain and N.I., Luton


    Company news Pledge follows the leading brewer’s survey, revealing:
    -Millennials in the UK are more calorie conscious than older age groups and their European counterparts
    -35% of adults are actively reviewing the calorie content of their drinks – rising to nearly 50% among 18-29yr olds
    -Fewer than 1 in 5 adults in the UK are aware of the calories in beer, despite it being one of the nation’s most popular beverages

    AB InBev UK has announced the role it will play in AB InBev’s European pledge to provide consumers with full ingredient and nutritional information for 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 Big 7).

    The changes will begin this year and be in place on at least 80% of European volumes by the end of 2017 with full information on all AB InBev brands already available online via

    The pledge follows results from a recent survey conducted by IPSOS Mori for AB InBev that revealed UK consumers have limited knowledge of calorie levels in beer, with less than 1 in 5 claiming to be aware of them. The survey 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 18-29yr olds – the largest percentage among millennials across Europe.

    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.

    The research informs wider commitments made by AB InBev as part of Brewers of Europe (BoE), the organisation representing the entire European brewing sector, who have pledged to make product nutritional information more readily available to consumers. BoE have committed to providing full information on ingredients, energy and nutritional values per 100ml either on label and/or online. AB InBev’s pledge goes above and beyond this minimum BoE commitment by:
    -Placing full ingredient and energy information on primary packs
    -Placing full ingredient and Big 7 nutrition information on non-returnable secondary packs
    -Providing not only the mandatory ‘per 100ml’ info but portion size as well
    -Providing a full list of ingredients, energy and other nutritional information online via

    Anna Tolley, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director UK, said: “Consumers are getting savvier about their daily calorie consumption and are actively looking at nutritional information. While the EU continues to discuss the best way forward for nutritional labelling in our industry, we want to give consumers the information they need at their fingertips to make well informed choices and enjoy our products responsibly.”
    (AB Inbev UK Ltd)
    14.01.2016   More Brits Toasting to Alcohol-Free Beer    ( Company news )

    Company news -One in 10 women drink alcohol-free beer on a weekly basis
    -Nearly a third of Brits (31%) have now tried alcohol-free beer with 18% of Londoners drinking it whenever they go out
    -A fifth (21%) of millennials are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January
    -Nearly a fifth (19%) of Brits are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer
    -A quarter of the UK (25%) not attending Christmas parties

    New research released by AB InBev UK reveals the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer amongst the British public. Nearly a third of Brits (31%) have now tried alcohol-free beer, one in ten women (10%) are enjoying it on a weekly basis and 18% of Londoners are drinking it whenever they go out, with Londoners being the most inclined to consume alcohol-free beer over any other UK city.

    Over a fifth of millennials (21%) – those aged 18 to 34 – are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014. This supports a growing trend among millennials who are increasingly motivated by balanced and healthy lifestyles, with 41% of those aged 18 to 19 actively trying to moderate their drinking habits.

    The research coincides with the launch of AB InBev’s new set of Global Smart Drinking Goals that aim to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025. The leading global beer company has committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its global beer volume will be alcohol-free or lower-alcohol by 2020.

    Across the UK, almost a fifth of consumers (19%) are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer, which may go some way to explaining why, among those looking to moderate their alcohol intake in January, 34% will be looking to consume alcohol-free beer. This is an increase of 16% from 2014.

    Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with almost a quarter (23%) of Brits happy to take it to a festive gathering. Whilst a quarter (25%) of consumers are forgoing festive parties this year, for those who are celebrating, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).

    Commenting on the research Anna Tolley, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, AB InBev UK & Ireland said:
    “It’s great to see the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer among the UK public – especially millennials. Offering consumers choice is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue, the market leading alcohol-free beer”.

    The low and alcohol-free beer category is growing by 5% in the UK on-trade with AB InBev’s Beck’s Blue the market leader, contributing to 58% of the category, and increasing 15% year on year in retail, and 10% in outlets like pubs and bars.
    (AB Inbev UK Ltd)
    06.01.2016   UK: British public increasingly favouring alcohol-free beer    ( )

    A new study by AB InBev UK has found that the British public is increasingly favouring alcohol-free beer products, KamCity reported on December 18.

    The study found that 31% of Brits have tried such drinks, with 10% of women enjoying it on a weekly basis and 18% of Londoners drinking it whenever they go out. Londoners were also found to be the most inclined to consume alcohol-free beer, compared to any other UK city.

    Additionally, 21% of millennials said they are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014. Across the UK, 19% of consumers are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer, which may go some way to explaining why - among those looking to moderate their alcohol intake in January - 34% will be looking to consume alcohol-free beer. This is an increase of 16% from 2014.

    Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with 23% saying they were happy to take it to a festive gathering. For those who are celebrating this year, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).

    The low and alcohol-free beer category is growing by 5% in the UK on-trade with AB InBev’s Beck’s Blue the market leader, contributing to 58% of the category, and increasing 15% year on year in retail, and 10% in outlets like pubs and bars.
    07.01.2015   UK: AB InBev interested in using alcohol-free beers to win over younger drinkers    ( )

    Budweiser brewer AB InBev has expressed an interest in using alcohol-free beers to win over health-conscious younger drinkers as part of wider efforts to overcome volume declines fuelled by shifts in demographics and consumer preferences, The Drum reported on December 30.

    The brewer already produces Beck’s Blue, which it claims is the UK’s most popular alcohol-free beer, and believes there is an increasing normality of drinking these types of brews as an alternative to consuming alcohol. While there is no imminent announcement regarding the trend, AB InBev pointed to the success of its Beck’s variant, which saw volume sales climb 16.4 per cent and 11 per cent in the off and on-trade respectively, as a sign of promise.

    British adults feel that alcohol-free beer is more socially acceptable than it was five years ago, the brewer claimed. The insight comes from a Comres study, commissioned by AB InBev, of 2,061 adults earlier in December, which found that the sub-category could be key to propping up sales in a quarter usually hampered by people curbing their drinking habits to offset the excessiveness of the festive period.

    The millenial generation - those aged between 18 and 34 - are eight times more likely than over 65s to choose alcohol-free beers instead of alcohol in January, found the report, with only one in 100 of the elder generation prepared to do the same thing. Twice as many younger drinkers as over 55s “expressed likelihood of drinking alcohol free beer” over Christmas and the New Year.

    Three in ten (29 per cent) of those who drank alcohol free beer over the festive period chose the beverage to create a good impression - either with in-laws or work colleagues - the report added. For those drinkers who said they were cutting their alcohol intake over the next month, almost one in five (18 per cent) admitted they would consume alcohol-free beer.

    Nick Robinson, marketing director at AB InBev UK and Ireland, said the brewer was “excited” by the findings and the potential gains it uncovered in being able to offer a wider breadth of brews. Robinson joined the company in October from Coca-Cola as part of a senior management reshuffle.

    AB InBev is reportedly funnelling more marketing resources into targeting younger drinkers as it looks to rev up sales while balancing its responsible drinking efforts with shifting drinking preferences. Millennials are increasingly health conscious and looking to curb alcohol consumption, a behavioural shift that has pushed brewers to turn to innovation to uncover new opportunities.

    The shift was reflected in AB InBev’s earnings during its latest quarter when volumes dipped 9.8 per cent.

    The downturn has seen the brewer try to tap into the craft beer explosion in the US with its own alternatives, while in the UK it is banking on the sweeter taste profile of its rum-flavoured Cubanisto to pull younger drinkers to the beer category.
    30.07.2014   UK: Sales of many high-strength beers booming, new report shows    ( )

    Sales of many high-strength beers and ciders are booming, according to new figures compiled for The Grocer.
    The Grocer’s ranking of Britain’s 100 Biggest Booze Brands (in association with Nielsen) shows sales of the top five high-abv beer and cider products grew £700,000 in value to £123.9 mln in the 12 months up to the end of April, despite being in the Home Office firing line and the target for local voluntary high-strength alcohol bans across the country.
    Three of the top five brands were in value growth, with value sales of Aston Manor’s 7.5% abv cider Frosty Jack’s rising £3.7 mln (9.3%), while volume sales dipped only slightly despite a sharp price rise.
    Meanwhile Carlsberg’s Skol Super, and K cider, produced by the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill, ended the year in both value and volume growth.
    The figures come as lobbyists, ministers and drinks industry bodies piling pressure on suppliers to commit to Responsibility Deal pledges launched last week, with so far only AB InBev signing up. It pledged to stop selling carbonated drinks in cans containing more than four units of alcohol, resulting in the switching of 500 ml cans of Tennent’s Super (9% abv) into 440 ml cans.
    But ministers failed to persuade any producers to back a voluntary ban on high-abv lager and cider sold in plastic bottles of more than 15 units.
    The Grocer has uncovered strong resentment among suppliers, with Nigel McNally, MD of Brookfield Drinks, producer of Kestrel Super (9% abv) and Diamond White (7.5% abv), saying he would only sign if the Home Office promised to take action to outlaw local voluntary bans on high-strength booze.
    “We support the general direction of the pledges,” said McNally. “But we have a problem with the notion that there are two types of alcohol: good and bad. We want a guarantee of a level playing field. We won’t sign a pledge if it just means that other producers can come in from abroad and fill the gap in the market.”
    McNally, whose company produces a 500 ml Kestrel Super can, added: “If producers go down to a 440 ml product the government should recognise these as absolutely legitimate products. For that to happen it has to agree to outlaw the existing voluntary bans that police and local authorities have been bringing in across the country.”
    Senior industry leaders expressed their frustration at the lack of sign-up. “This move must be producer-led,” said one figure involved in the pledge. “This is what will enable the industry to set a new standard.”
    “Having products that make up more than four units in one can is very hard to defend,” added another industry source.
    Carlsberg, which produces 9% abv Special Brew in 500ml cans, said it was supportive of the moves but would “take some time to consider our approach”.
    19.03.2014   UK: World’s leading brewers launching new beers to meet Britain’s thirst for sweeter alternatives     ( )

    AB InBev’s first foray into the spirits beer category with Cubanisto reflects Britain’s growing thirst for sweeter alternatives with Heineken and SABMiller also looking to exploit the trend and make beer more appealing in nightclubs, Marketing Week reported on March 10.

    The Budweiser owner is launching its rum-based variant at the end of the month (24 March) with a campaign targeting “tech savvy trendsetters”. Activity pitches the beer as “perfect for nightlife occasions” and will span pop-up parties and live art performances throughout 2014.

    The popularity of spirit beers has been growing for several years, extending the wider category to key trading sessions for the big night out occasion. The upswing is expected to push the flavoured on-trade market to be worth £400 mln by 2016, according to alcohol consultants CGA Strategy, with core consumers coming from the 18 to 25 range.

    Global brewers are now experimenting with different mixers to capitalise on the shift and cement their presence in a market still lacking the premium credentials of its world or craft beer counterparts.

    Emily Kraftman, senior brand manager for Cubanisto, said the spirit beer’s premium status is being pushed through offering drinkers access to exclusive “trendy”, “money can’t buy events”.

    She adds: “We want Cubanisto to become a brand that people actively seek out and is not reliant on traditional promotions to drive sales. It’s an untapped market, one where customers are looking for something completely different from anything else currently on offer.”

    Heineken is employing a similar strategy to promote the first variant from its tequila-flavoured Desperados brand in the UK, which lifted value sales by 70 per cent in 2013. The campaign promotes Desperados Verde, a tequila mint and lime beer that has a sweeter but lower abv than the original Desperados.

    It is part of a wider £7 mln investment for the brand, which accounts for around two thirds of the spirit beer market, as it braces itself for upcoming activity from its rivals.

    SABMiller is preparing its own assault on the category in the coming months. The Peroni owner is currently researching how it can develop beers capable of snaring wine and spirit drinkers.

    Alcohol analysts say the flurry of products will help lift “stuttering” on-trade sales but warn brewers will need to focus on marketing the premium status of the category rather than growing the size to avoid early saturation.

    Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA, says 27,000 on-trade outlets out of 124,000 now sell spirit beers adding volume sales jumped 80 per cent year-on-year in 2013.

    He adds: “The pace of growth and innovation/flavour diversification within the category shows the level of consumer pull for the products. Beer has been losing share of throat of the big night out with now over 50 per cent of alcohol sales being spirits based post 9pm in the evening rather than the traditional perception of 11pm.

    ”Spirits based beers are again broadening the window for beer in the key trading sessions for the big night out occasion and prolonging sales within the category, providing incremental volume opportunity for the major brewers.”
    10.03.2014   UK: AB InBev to launch rum-flavoured Cubanisto beer this month    ( )

    A rum-flavoured beer, named Cubanisto, will be launched by AB InBev this month, Morning Advertiser reported on March 5.

    The 5.9% ABV spirit-beer, inspired by the Caribbean, is purported to taste of “citrus, orange zest and lime” and have the “aroma of caramelised cane sugar and treacle”.

    AB InBev UK’s senior brand manager Emily Kraftman said: “Cubanisto is a brand waiting to be discovered by tech-savvy trend setters, and enjoyed when socialising and celebrating with friends. AB InBev has a track record of launching successful innovations, with Stella Artois Cidre in the UK being a great example. “

    Cubanisto will be available in 330ml UV-light sensitive coated bottles and will be showcased in the on-trade, with bottle glorifiers, stencils and illuminators to make it “perfect for nightlife occasions”.

    “There will be secret consumer experiences which can only be unlocked through social media, and new technology will be used to enable fans to gain access to exclusive content,” the company added.
    25.07.2013   Britain invited to “Let There Be Beer”    ( Company news )

    Beer industry unites to launch a campaign to bring Britain back to beer

    Today the British beer industry unites to celebrate the very best of brewing. A new TV advertising campaign is launching which calls for the country to back ‘Let There Be Beer’ campaign and rediscover what’s great about beer.

    This first of its kind collaboration comprises some of the world’s biggest brewing companies, national brewers, publicans, retailers, organisations such as the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and support from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers.

    Let There Be Beer’s ambition is to reignite the public’s love of beer and restore lagers, ales, bitters, pilsners and stouts firmly in the nation’s heart, wherever they are enjoyed, whilst highlighting the significant role brewing plays in supporting the economy.

    Let There Be Beer wants to encourage a reappraisal of beer and will be focussing on demonstrating the diversity of the category, with a big focus on pairing beer with food and celebrating the social side of grabbing a beer with mates.

    Simon Cox, from Let There Be Beer, said “There is an ever more diverse selection of beers available in our pubs and supermarket shelves. We’ve seen the emergence of a more discerning beer drinker, a growth in micro-breweries, as well as increased availability of beer brands from all around the UK and the world. Two decades ago there were around 2,000 brands of beer on sale in the UK compared to more than 5,000 on sale today.

    “Let There Be Beer is about instilling a passion for beer in the nation’s hearts and remind the nation why beer is the nation’s best-loved drink. But for many, beer simply means pints of warm, flat lager. That couldn’t be further from reality!”

    Jonathan Neame, chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “Some consumers have forgotten how much beer really means to them. We believe that’s a travesty, as there’s nothing like a beer. Beer is irreplaceable – in its flavour and diversity, in its culture and history, its ability to ground us and help us to celebrate the good things in life and the happiest occasions…beer and pubs are the original social network!”
    (Inbev UK Ltd)
    08.07.2013   UK: Stella Artois may lose its crown as UK's leading lager brand    ( )

    Stella Artois could lose its crown as the UK’s leading lager brand to Foster’s in October, if its sales continue to fall at the rate they have over the past year, The Grocer reported on June, 29.
    The AB InBev-owned brand’s sales have fallen 4.6% on volumes down 7%. Meanwhile, Foster’s value sales are up 12.2% on volumes up 9%.
    If the two continue on the same trajectory, Stella will be worth £487.6 mln in October, while Foster’s will hit £492.2 mln. If Stella’s sales remained at their current level, Foster’s would overtake it in December.
    However, AB InBev’s president for the UK and Ireland Inge Plochaet said Stella’s decline, which has cost the brand £24 mln in lost sales over the past year, was an anticipated result of its strategy to drive value back into the category. Over the period, Stella cut its use of featured space deals by 34.6%.
    “Our promotional participation was at too high a level,” said Plochaet. “Of course, that comes with consequences such as revenue, market share and volume in the short term, leading to something more sustainable in the long term.”
    Heineken UK put much of Foster’s growth down to Foster’s Gold, launched in July 2011. Foster’s, with £51.2 mln growth, was the only lager out of the UK’s 10 most promoted beer & cider brands to increase featured space deals, by 8.4%.
    13.07.2011   UK: Draught version of Budweiser to loose in abv this week    ( )

    AB InBev’s UK unit is lowering the abv of the draught version of its global beer brand Budweiser in the country.
    The unit confirmed earlier on June, 30 that it will relaunch Budweiser draught this week, and will reduce its abv form the current 5% to 4.3% as a result of consumer research. The move echoes AB InBev UK's announcement in 2008 that it was equalising the differing abv's of Stella Artois in the on-trade (formerly at 5.1%) and in the off-trade (5.2%), with the introduction of a 5% abv version.
    The relaunch will see the roll-out of new fonts and point of sale for Budweiser in the UK on-trade. Updated counter-mounts, T-bars and glassware will use “Crisp Cold”’ as a descriptor. The Budweiser 'bow tie' logo will be the focal design along with the brands “Grab Some Buds” tagline.
    According to a spokesperson for AB InBev UK, the company conducted extensive research with the Budweiser consumer and found that, on occasions where they wished to enjoy draught Budweiser, their preference was for a lower abv variant that still delivered Budweiser's quality and taste.
    Budweiser Draught was initially launched in the UK in 1985 by Anheuser-Busch.

    31.05.2011   UK: AB InBev scraps plans to relocate brewing operations in Mortlake    ( )

    Plans for the redevelopment of Mortlake’s Stag Brewery site are on hold after the brewery’s owners announced it would continue operating from the riverside site until at least 2014, Richmond Twickenham Times reported on May, 24.

    AB InBev UK, which produces Budweiser beer, has announced it would scrap plans to relocate brewing operations at the end of this year following an upturn in sales.

    A spokesman said: “Given the very strong performance of Budweiser in the UK, we have decided to postpone the closure of the Stag brewery in the short term.

    “The site will remain open until at least the end of 2014.”

    The news means Richmond Council’s plans to develop a planning brief ensuring residents would see changes they wanted on the site will have to be shelved.

    The council has yet to comment.
    24.05.2011   UK: Sales of Stella 4% down on low promotion    ( )

    Sales of AB InBev’s Stella 4% - hailed as the most successful alcohol launch of the past 10 years - have crashed by more than 30% over the past 12 months, The Grocer communicated on May, 16.

    The beer, which was developed for the UK market and debuted in August 2008, was called the launch of the year after racking up sales of almost £30 mln in seven months.

    However, off-trade sales have fallen from £68.2 mln to £46.8 mln over the past year a 31.4% drop while volumes have slumped 36.9% [Nielsen, 19 March 2011]. In the previous 12-month period, value sales of the brand had soared 130.2% on the back of a 122.9% volume hike.

    Data from promotions analysts Assosia shows the number of featured space deals on Stella 4% at the big four retailers and Waitrose dropped from 94 between 22 March 2009 and 14 March 2010 to 53 in the following 12-month period. Over the same period, the average promotional saving fell from £1.94 to £1.49.

    Industry observers said the fall-off in promotional activity was to blame for the sales decline. "With all new brands there comes a time when support is reduced to see where the natural level sits and to assess the effectiveness of the launch," said one industry insider.

    AB InBev admitted it had focused its 2010 promotional activity around Budweiser and its sponsorship of the World Cup.

    However, it said a "heavyweight" focus on Stella 4% was planned for 2011, including TV and cinema advertising and the launch of "one of the biggest-ever consumer promotions for the beer category" this summer.

    "Stella 4% is a product we are proud of, passionately believe in, and continue to drive forward with multimillion-pound investment," said AB InBev UK president Stuart Mac¬Farlane, adding that its off-trade value was bigger than that of Heineken, Coors Light or Bulmers Original.

    "To build a brand extension to such significant value in this ¬period demonstrates our commitment to innovation and investing in our brands," he added.
    29.11.2010   United Kingdom: Stella Artois Black to remain a limited-volume beer sold through “100s not 1,000s” .    ( )

    ...of pubs and bars

    AB InBev has no plans for its new upmarket Stella Artois variant Stella Artois Black to go into bottles or the off-trade, Morning Advertiser communicated on November, 19.
    Stella Artois Black be available only in hand-selected pubs and bars. It would remain a limited-volume beer sold through “100s not 1,000s” of pubs and bars, said marketing director James Watson.
    All of the beer for Stella Artois Black, brewed with Saaz hops, coriander seeds and orange peel, will be brewed in the company’s Leuven brewery in Belgium and imported into the UK.
    It is hoped the variant will attract drinkers from world beer and other premium lagers and, as the brewer has found with its Stella Artois 4% variant, that there will be a positive sales effect on the parent brand.
    AB InBev is supporting the launch with bespoke training for outlets stocking the brand and a unique in-outlet campaign called the Night Chauffeur, which sees consumers driven off in a 1960s Citroën DS to experience “the mysterious and intriguing world of the Night Chauffeur”.
    Mr. Watson defended the brewer’s decision to name the beer Stella Artois Black even though it isn’t a black lager.
    “Consumers tell us they don’t find it confusing but take it to denote a more premium experience, as it does in other categories,” Watson said.
    05.07.2010   United Kingdom: AB InBev to launch Stella Artois Black this autumn     ( )

    AB InBev UK is rolling out a new lager, Stella Artois Black, The Publican communicate on June, 29.
    The 4.9 per cent beer, which is not black at all but rather a golden brew, will be produced in and imported from Belgium.
    The brewer said it will be available in “selected on-trade locations” from the autumn.
    AB InBev UK president Stuart MacFarlane said the product was “another demonstration of our commitment to innovation and investment in the Stella Artois family”.
    It built on the “ongoing success of Stella Artois 5%, and following the very successful 2008 launch of Stella Artois 4%”, he added.
    MacFarlane said Stella Artois Black would offer what he called a “premium plus” experience, “complete with bespoke font, glassware and a reverential pouring ritual”.
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