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Budweiser takes Black Crown…to US drinkers

By Ben Bouckley+

03-Jan-2013
Last updated on 03-Jan-2013 at 12:41 GMT

AB InBev plans to breathe new life into Budweiser by releasing a stronger version of the beer in 2013, which it claims will offer US drinkers a more distinct flavor and taste.

According to Bloomberg News, AB InBev chose the lager – 6% ABV compared to Budweiser’s 5% -- from 12 concepts developed by beer makers at each of its US breweries.

Miguel Patricio, the brewer’s chief marketing officer, is quoted as saying that the drink was suited to a “more sophisticated crowd and occasion”.

AB InBev aimed to boost sales and brand health with the line extension, which it claims is “distinctively smooth and beechwood finished”. 

Although Budweiser grew 6.2% globally in Q3 and year-to-date to the end of October 2012, AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito told analysts during an earnings call at the time that Budweiser did not meet quarterly expectations in the US, “partly due to ship and retail execution focus from our teams to our innovations”.

Craftmanship, history, roots...

“However, we’re pleased with the improvements we’re seeing the brand health scores among the important 21 to 27-year-old core consumer group, the so-called millennials,” he added.

Brito said AB InBev felt the time was ripe to release Budweiser line extensions to show the“craftsmanship, the history, the roots of the brand”, and mentioned a summer limited edition whereby 12 US brewers created a tribute to Budweiser beers that led a limited-edition release.

But despite brand health scores pointing upward, Brito said that AB InBev was slightly disappointed that it had not yet clawed-back market share.