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ABI Loses Ground In U.S. While MillerCoors Gains Share, As Megadeal Remains On Hold

May 4, 2016

The U.S. market’s two brewing giants went in different directions in the first quarter of 2016. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s volume declined slightly, while MillerCoors’ two top brands enjoyed their best performance in years. ABI was down by 0.3% in the U.S. in the first three months of the year, losing market share as the beer market grew by nearly 1%. Despite the slight decline, ABI says Michelob Ultra and its high-end brands delivered strong growth and that Bud Light trends are improving.

Meanwhile, Miller Lite and Coors Light were both flat in the first quarter—the first time since 2008 that their aggregate volume didn’t decline. MillerCoors said the two brands—which account for more than 50% of profits—have now grown their combined market share in the light beer category for four consecutive quarters.

Last November, ABI struck a deal to acquire SABMiller for $106 billion, along with a planned sale of SABMiller’s 58% interest in MillerCoors in order to satisfy U.S. regulators. The megadeal is still on hold because regulators in countries around the globe—including the U.S.—remain concerned about its impact on competition.

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