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Miller brands doubt

From The Publican

28-Nov-2002

Global brewer SABMiller is considering calling time on some of the flavoured malt beverages (FMB) it launched in the US earlier this year.


The news casts doubt on its partnership with Allied Domecq to produce Stolichnaya Citrona and Sauza Daiblo.


The market for ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages is still growing in the US but the rush of new products has led to over-supply in the market.


Last month Diageo pulled the plug on Captain Morgan Gold, its rum spin-off.


The failed drink cost Diageo £42m.


SABMiller chief executive Graham Mackay (pictured) said it was too early to tell whether all four of the new FMBs would survive.


John Bowlin, head of the Miller Brewing Company, said Stolichnaya Citrona was " a mixed story" while sales of Sauza Diablo had been a disappointment.


Asked if Diablo might be scrapped, he said: "We haven't made that decision yet."


Elsewhere the company said it had taken its eye off the ball with Miller Lite.


This would be addressed with new packaging and a fresh marketing campaign.


A pricing war with Anheuser-Busch, the owner of Budweiser and Michelob, has come to an end. In the six months to October, profits rose 25 per cent to *£238.6m ($374m) from sales up 83 per cent to *£2.54bn ($3.98bn).


On a comparable basis, volumes rose five per cent.


*Dollars converted to Sterling at $1 to £0.638

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