Anheuser-Busch is doubling down on more expensive beers as millennials ditch iconic brands like Budweiser and Bud Light

Facebook/Goose IslandPremium beers, such as Shock Top, Goose Island, and Budweiser Reserve, are crucial as sales slow for many massive, iconic brands.
  • Anheuser-Busch is turning to more expensive, premium beers as Bud Light and Budweiser lose market share.
  • Revenue of the beer giant’s premium segment, which includes brands such as Shock Top and Goose Island, grew 18.3% in 2018.
  • “Consumers are revising their choices, and they want to have more premium propositions,” AB InBev’s US chief marketing officer, Marcel Marcondes, recently told Business Insider.

Anheuser-Busch is doubling down on premium beers as sales of iconic brands such as Bud Light and Budweiser continue to slip.

The beer giant’s “premiumization” strategy proved a bright point in the company’s earnings report on Thursday, with revenue of the premium High End Company growing 18.3% in 2018.

Premium beers, such as Shock Top, Goose Island, and Budweiser Reserve, are crucial as sales slow for many massive, iconic brands. In the US, Bud Light lost 80 basis points of market share in 2018, while Budweiser lost 35 basis points.

AB InBev on Thursday said it expected the premium segment to grow about five times as fast as core and value brands in the coming years.

“Consumers are revising their choices, and they want to have more premium propositions,” AB InBev’s US chief marketing officer, Marcel Marcondes, recently told Business Insider.

“So, although we do have some flagship iconic brands in the market like Budweiser and Bud Light, can’t we elevate those propositions?” Marcondes continued. “Let’s give it a try – let’s talk to consumers and let’s understand their needs and let’s make those propositions even more premium and sophisticated.”


Read more:
Anheuser-Busch CMO breaks down how Bud Light and Budweiser are facing ‘brutal facts’ as millennials ditch beer

The move toward premium brews is being driven in part by people having more money to spend, with AB InBev predicting that global disposable income will grow from $US24 trillion in 2017 to $US43 trillion in 2030.

“We see consumers are seeking more premium prepositions in all the categories,” Marcondes said. “Beer cannot be the only exception to that.”

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