SALES: £312.5m GROWTH: +8.0%
Back of the net! Budweiser has scored the greatest absolute growth, worth £23m, of any beer brand in this year’s top 100 and the fifth greatest gain overall. How?
The football has been crucial, of course. As the official beer of the World Cup, Bud had a particularly strong start to last summer, says AB InBev marketing director Nick Robinson. “It was probably our best global activation to date,” he says.
“The Budweiser team did a really good job bringing the brand to life. Clearly if England had stayed in longer it would’ve been even better but despite that it’s been a really strong year and we’ve brought that momentum into this year.”
After the glamour of last year’s World Cup, the brand has come back down to earth with a bump this year with its Dream Goal campaign, in which the brand scours Britain’s Sunday leagues to find the country’s best amateur goal scorers.
From football to food; the brand’s latest campaign, featuring TV ads trumpeting the pairing of Bud (‘the beer of beer’) with burgers (‘the food of food’) as a marriage made in heaven, is a hunt for the country’s best amateur barbecue chef. The campaign is due to culminate in a cook-off event later this month.
“With its strong American heritage there’s a natural association between Budweiser and Americana,” says Robinson, who adds the current trend for American-style barbecuing is a big opportunity. “What goes together better than a Bud and a great burger?”
A good deal doesn’t go amiss, either. Bud’s growth isn’t all down to canny above-the-line marketing; promotions, particularly during the World Cup, on larger multipacks have helped drive volume growth ahead of value at 12.1%. With an average price across the year of £2.16/litre, Bud is significantly cheaper than other premium lagers such as Beck’s (28) or San Miguel (29).
“It’s been a competitive time in retail in all categories,” concedes Robinson. “Across the World Cup period when people are getting larger groups together for parties, there may be a larger focus on larger packs but I think that probably balances out over the year. We have packs at most price points.”