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

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    AB Inbev UK Ltd, UK Head Office

    Great Britain and N.I., Luton


     
    30.07.2014   UK: Sales of many high-strength beers booming, new report shows    ( E-malt.com )

    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     ( E-Malt.com )

    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    ( E-Malt.com )

    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    ( E-malt.com )

    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    ( E-malt.com )

    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    ( E-Malt.com )

    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    ( E-Malt.com )

    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” .    ( E-malt.com )

    ...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     ( E-Malt.com )

    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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