How has the beer category been performing over the last year? And how have your brands been performing?

The beer category is currently worth £4.9bn,1 making it a standout in the alcohol category. What’s driving the success of the category is growth in the premium and super-premium category which now equates to 61.7% of total beer value.2 We’re forecasting that 70% of total beer consumption will be in the premium or super-premium category by 2025.3

At Budweiser Brewing Group we’re proud to brew the UK’s best-loved beers. Stella, Budweiser, and Corona are now the top three brands in GB Mults in value market share.4

How big is the Christmas occasion for Budweiser Brewing Group and the beer category in general?

Christmas presents a huge opportunity for retailers to drive sales. In 2022, the week leading up to Christmas delivered a 4.5% increase in volume compared to 2021, demonstrating how Christmas continues to be a sales driver for retailers5. This year, we’re predicting the week of December 18th will have the highest beer sales for Christmas and all of 2023.

Stella Artois is a stand-out option at Christmas, and we expect it to remain the number one alcohol brand this year.6 Stella Artois accounts for 14.2% of beers consumed in the ‘planned social’ occasions making it a staple at Christmas gatherings.7

How can wholesalers maximise beer sales around the festive season?

Christmas sees an uptick in bottle pack sales, with medium and large multi-packs being the most popular options and one that wholesalers should prioritise.8 Price-marked packs (PMPs) also prove effective, as 60% of shoppers view them as special deals which makes them critical for cost-conscious customers during the season.9

With rising prices across categories making consumers more price-aware, wholesalers can leverage PMPs on popular brands like Stella Artois and Corona to shape price perceptions and drive sales. During a high-value season when shoppers are looking to maximise value, well-stocked supplies of bottle multi-packs and PMPs on key brands can boost basket spend.

Starting from mid-November, we’re launching our ‘Share a Treat This Christmas’ campaign in depots and across convenience stores. This will feature striking displays in depots featuring hero products such as Stella Artois 4x440ml, Leffe 4x440ml, and Stella Unfiltered 4x440ml. As a bonus, customers purchasing any of these products will receive limited-edition playing cards. Additionally, we’ll be providing POS kits with posters, wobblers, and aisle fins in stores to further support our campaign and increase visibility in warehouses for wholesalers looking to increase spend during the festive season.

How important are World & Specialty beers in leveraging the Christmas occasion?

The World Beer, and Craft & Specialties category has seen massive growth in recent years, with no signs of slowing down. Since 2019, consumers have bought 5% more World Beer compared to standard lager, and we forecast sales to increase another 8% by 2030 across the Off-Trade.10

This presents a major opportunity for retailers, as the category is clearly here to stay and offers the potential to encourage beer drinkers to trade up to premium options this holiday season. Getting customers to trade up is a significant opportunity, so wholesalers should work with their customers to make sure to stock a wide selection of World Beers this Christmas.

What is driving the success and growth of Budweiser Brewing Group? And how has Budweiser Brewing Group dared to be different?

Budweiser Brewing Group’s success in attracting consumers has been closely linked to our collaboration with retailers and wholesalers to gain insights into its customer base and craft exclusive offerings.

Recent product launches and strategic calendar events have provided numerous occasions to implement incentives that appeal to both customers and consumers alike. This has been accomplished by designing distinctive packages tailored to each customer, allowing them to differentiate from competitors. Working with wholesalers and retailers on what works best for their customers, a series of activities including in-store promotions, marketing initiatives, and product sampling can be adapted to each retailer. The approach is highly effective in helping customers drive sales around key cultural moments.

How do you work with wholesalers to help them grow their business?

BEES, a proprietary B2B e-commerce platform, is one way in which we are working with wholesalers to help them grow their business. The integrated order and delivery platform empowers wholesalers with flexibility and insights they have never had before.

Wholesalers can get ahead of the game and order an array of products, earn rewards, gain insights into how their business is performing, and choose delivery dates and times. This puts more power in the hands of the business owners and helps them track their performance better in financially difficult times. Furthermore, the platform has been scaled to include additional offerings, such as e-learning modules that allow business owners to upskill, empowering them further to run their businesses on their terms.

Do you have any NPD to talk about?

Last year, we launched Stella Artois Unfiltered to huge success. The unfiltered lager category, highly popular across Europe, is currently an untapped segment in the UK market and brings a differentiated, flavoursome addition to the World Lager category. In the first 12 months since its launch, Stella Artois Unfiltered has become the number one super-premium lager in shoppers trading up from premium Lager presenting a huge value opportunity for customers.

1 Total Coverage/GB – Latest 52 Weeks Vs Year Ago – WE 02 September 2023.
2 Kantar/BBG AlcovisionOccaision Study.
3 Budweiser Brewing Group Forecast.
4 Nielsen Scantrack YTD W/E 02 September.
5 Nielsen WE 24 December 2022.
6 Nielsen WE 24 December 2022.
7 Kantar.
8 Nielsen WE 24 December 2022.
9 Lumina Intelligence, November 2021.
10 Kantar Alcovision Share of Occasions 12 m/e 30/06/22 vs 12 m/e 30/06/21: BBG own beer projections. Nielsen iSights: Total beer 2018/19/20/21/22

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