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28 October 2021
AB InBev grows on premiumisation trend
Beer & ciderBrand management
Premiumisation and expansions into new product ranges were partly responsible for a successful quarter for AB InBev, maker of Stella Artois and Budweiser, as these provided a valuable defence against pandemic-induced declines in some areas of the world.
Why it matters
The world’s largest brewer is back to beating pre-pandemic numbers as buyers traded up to more premium brands, which in turn drove profit. Premium brands, which are around 30% of total revenue, delivered 11.3% revenue growth in the quarter.
It indicates that buyer preferences may be sticking around having moved towards premium offers during the pandemic.
Volume sales were up 3.4% in the quarter ending September 2021, but revenues grew 7.9%. Underlying profits were up too at 6.1% growth.
Brazil has been an important hotspot with 15.3% revenue growth in the quarter. A microcosm of the global whole, not only did Brazilians buy more beer, they bought more expensive beers.
AB InBev was able to push ahead in almost all other markets to make up for an Asian decline where it was harder hit by lockdown measures.
Beyond Beer – the segment that includes the fast-growing hard seltzers and canned cocktail products popular with young people – is growing fast at 1.8x the category in the US (where it is arguably most advanced).