AB InBev looks to leapfrog Heineken as UK’s top brewer

AB InBev has signalled its intent to become the number one brewer in the UK by 2019, as it looks to use the 2018 FIFA World Cup and craft beer to push itself ahead of current leading brewer Heineken.

Already runaway world leading brewer, AB InBev believe it will soon be leading the way in the UK.

Talking ahead of the company’s conference for clients and partners at Wembley Stadium, Jason Warner, President of AB InBev North Europe, said: “At the end of 2016 we grew volume sales and 2017 to date we are growing and building momentum. At this rate we will be the number one brewer in the next couple of years but because we are super ambitious this isn’t enough and we want to lead the category.”

Warner said that the company would use the World Cup to bring people together and celebrate the winning moments of the biggest football event on the planet.

AB InBev caught the attention of the media, and Welsh beer drinks, when it offered everyone of drinking age in Wales a free Budweiser after Wales upset Belgium in the European Championships in 2016. It hopes to use more campaigns like this to create excitement around the World Cup and the Budweiser brand.

Warner said that the recent launch of Bud Light has gone very well and that there is already a 25% repeat rate and the brand is resonating with 18-25 year olds.

Andre Finamore Amaral, Marketing Manager at Bud Light, said: “Bud Light is attracting new users and 12% of people who are drinking Bud Light are new to beer and haven’t drunk it before.”

Amaral also said that the latest Bud Light campaign would break in the next month and the brand will be looking to take the next step forward.

Despite craft beer only taking a 1% share in the market, AB InBev are looking to expand in this area and have already taken over Camden Town Brewery and are set to launch a new craft beer with media giant VICE later in the year.

AB InBev is also hoping to work closely with partners on issues close to the company’s heart and branch out into more social enterprises.

“We want to use the power and relevance of our brand to support important social causes,” said Amaral. “Stella has been working with water.org – helping people to have access to clean water – and Corona is working with Parley for the Oceans to clean 100 islands by 2020. More and more you will see these kinds of programmes.”