Bud Light has been singled out by the behemoth as the top driver of growth in standard lager, despite being launched just a year ago, said ABI north Europe president Jason Warner today (1 March).
“Western Europe performed very well, growing top line by high single digits and achieving market share gains in the majority of our markets,” the report said.
“The UK finished the year by delivering double-digit top-line growth, helped in large by the strong performances of our three global brands.”
Three top brands
Warner said 2017 had been a strong year for the company across total trade, but its three top brands delivered the strongest performance in the off-trade.
“Stella Artois has kept its place as the UK’s number one beer brand and over the Christmas period was the UK’s biggest-selling alcohol brand in the off-trade,” he said.
“Despite Bud Light only arriving to UK shores in March last year, it is already the top growth driver for standard lager, refreshing the core beer category for the Millennial generation.”
Plans for bringing premium and craft beers to the market will continue in 2018, the report said.
The brewer also plans to “elevate” core lager by reinforcing the heritage of its products through social media and by sponsoring events.
Meanwhile, ABI will focus harder on sustainability, the environment and responsible drinking as it kicks up campaigns and new product development to fall under these themes.
“In 2018, we will announce a set of ambitious sustainability goals, which will include: clean energy, smart agriculture, water conservation, recyclable packaging as well as safer workplaces and communities,” said the report.
“We are investing in these goals globally and locally. Already in 2017, we committed to sourcing 100% of our purchased electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.”
Following its announcement in 2016 to increase sales of no- and low-alcohol beer, ABI has again outlined its commitments to reducing harmful alcohol use through education and by expanding its range of alcohol-free beers.
Warner said: “We launched Budweiser Prohibition at the end of last year, bringing the alcohol-free version of the ‘King of Beers’ to lead the way in giving consumers more choice in the emerging no-alcohol and low-alcohol beer segment.”