UK on-trade 'major focus' for AB InBev following SABMiller acquisition

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

AB InBev: Budweiser, Stella and Corona among roster of brands
AB InBev: Budweiser, Stella and Corona among roster of brands
The UK on-trade will be a major target for brewing giant AB InBev (ABI) over coming years, the company’s Northern European boss has revealed. 

In an exclusive interview with The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​), ​Jason Warner, who took on the role just 10 months ago, said plans were under way to grow ABI’s presence in the pub and bar sector following its acquisition of rival firm SABMiller.

He said: “The on-trade is going to be a major focus for us, absolutely. Part of making this work is us investing in this very important part of the business which we haven’t historically – but now is the time.”

Evolve serving formats

As well as outlining key areas of focus within the trade, Warner spoke out on the need to evolve beer packaging and serving formats.

“There is a huge opportunity [with serving formats],” he told MA. ​“Beer is the most social category in the world – we’ve done everything as an industry to make the bottles one way and the serving experience individual.

“We need to be working harder to serve in social ways – I think sharing formats will become more and more important. Like with wine, there’s no reason why beer can’t be served in a carafe and to complement food.”

Acquisition done

ABI’s acquisition of SABMiller closed earlier this month, leaving ABI in charge of roughly one third of the world’s beer.

It sold Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime​ to Asahi in order to ease EU regulators' competition fears.

Read the full Big Interview with Jason Warner.

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