Budweiser-Budvar is poised to launch bottled Budvar Dark in the UK off-trade as well as significantly ramping up its marketing activity in the UK.
The dark lager from the Czech Republic has already proved popular in pubs, where it was launched 18 months ago.
“It seems to appeal to both men and women as it isn’t too sweet,” said Denis Cox, Budvar UK’s PR controller.
The company now plans to target the retail trade with the 4.7% abv beer, which will be packaged in 500ml bottles with an rsp of £1.49 each or on offer
as three for £4.
Cox said it was part of an overall strategy increasingly to target the off-trade. “Since the Budvar brand was awarded Protected Geographical Indication status last year, it has given the company more confidence in marketing. It was seen as a kind of unquestioned proof of its validity,” he said. Budvar is the only Czech beer to achieve the award, made in recognition of the fact that it is only brewed at source in Ceské Budejovice.
Towards the end of last year, Budvar launched the Bud Premier Select brand into the UK. Further marketing activity for the 7.6% abv super-strength variant will follow this year.
“We are still in a niche market, but this year it will be a bigger niche. We are very optimistic for the Budvar range in the off-trade,” said Cox.
The company has also announced it will be scrapping the traditional brown bottle for its 500ml size into a green one to help modernise the brand. The change will also move the brand further away from the look of its American rival, Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser.
“Now we have a modern package designed for today’s distribution and for today’s consumer,” said Budvar UK’s off-trade controller, Jon Whittle.
Sonya Hook