Beverage News / Beer

A-B expands production of Bud Light Platinum

Anheuser-Busch (A-B), the St. Louis-based subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev), announced the expansion of Bud Light Platinum production to its St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio, breweries as well as plans to add its Fort Collins, Colo., brewery in June. The production expansion will keep up with demand for the new product that launched early this year and is outpacing expectations, the company said in a statement.

“We’re optimistic we have a winner on our hands with Bud Light Platinum,” said Luiz Edmond, zone president of North America  for A-B, in a statement. “Trial and repeat purchase have been tremendous since the first ads aired during the Super Bowl, and while supplies were tight in the first few months, having to double the number of breweries producing Bud Light Platinum is a great problem to have.”

Bud Light Platinum will continue to be brewed at A-B’s Baldwinsville, N.Y., Cartersville, Ga., and Los Angeles breweries. With the addition of the three new breweries, Bud Light Platinum will be produced in half of A-B’s 12 U.S. breweries, according to the company.

In addition, A-B’s parent company, A-B InBev, announced its first quarter 2012 results in which the company delivered revenue growth of 6.2 percent with revenue per hectoliter up 4.9 percent, according to the company. Total volumes increased 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 with own beer volumes growing by 1.4 percent and non-beer volumes increasing 6.3 percent, according to A-B InBev. The company reported that its three global brands — Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s — grew 4.8 percent.

In the United States, performance was led by Stella Artois, which grew 22.5 percent, Michelob Ultra, which rose 7.2 percent, and the Bud Light brand family, which reported a 4.7 percent increase partially attributed to the launch of Bud Light Platinum, the company said. A-B InBev also highlighted its North American innovation pipeline, which includes recent product launches Michelob Ultra 19th Hole, Bud Light Lime “Lime-A-Rita,” Shock Top Wheat IPA and Shock Top Lemon Shandy. Its Budweiser brand also rolled out new packaging with a Major League Baseball theme, according to the company.

A-B InBev’s sales to retailers (STRs) grew 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012 benefiting from favorable weather in the central and eastern parts of the country, early signs of improvement in employment levels and innovation in the beer category. Its domestic U.S. beer selling-day adjusted STRs grew 1 percent and sales to wholesalers (STWs) also grew 1 percent. The company attributed its STR volume to its commercial plan, including National Football League and Super Bowl initiatives and the launch of Bud Light Platinum.

Based on Chicago-based SymphonyIRI data, Bud Light Platinum has been the most successful brand launch in the U.S. alcohol industry since 2005, the company said. Within two weeks of its launch, the brand, which is packaged in cobalt blue glass bottles, reached more than 90 percent distribution and as of April 1, claimed a 1.4 percent market share, it added.

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