Big brewers like AB InBev are looking to turn around a market for their products that has been extremely difficult to navigate of late. Saabira Chaudhuri reports on the brewer’s efforts to boost growth, writing in The Wall Street Journal:
In response to the slowdown, AB InBev has launched pricier, limited-edition or flavored variants of its flagship brands and worked to diversify. Earlier in February, it bought a maker of ready-to-drink canned cocktails and high-end spirits, adding to its growing portfolio of nonbeer offerings, including spiked seltzer and energy drinks.
It has also pushed Michelob Ultra, a light beer that AB InBev markets to health-conscious consumers. On Thursday, it said a new organic version of Michelob Ultra and a relaunched lower-calorie, lower-alcohol spiked seltzer had performed well.
“We think we can expand Michelob Ultra in a big way,” Chief Executive Carlos Brito said, adding that the brand currently makes up about 10% of the company’s U.S. volumes. Budweiser makes up 13% and Bud Light 35%.
Mr. Brito said he didn’t expect Bud or Bud Light to return to growth and is focused on stabilizing their performance.
However, the success of AB InBev’s pricier products is attracting competition. This week,Molson Coors Brewing Co. begins selling a rival to Michelob Ultra: a low-calorie, low-carb beer called Saint Archer Gold.
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