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ABI’s U.S. Shipments Down 3.4% On Sub-Premium Slide

November 9, 2011

Anheuser-Busch InBev said U.S. beer industry shipments to wholesalers were down 0.4% in the third quarter, while its own shipments fell 3.4% over the same period, weighed down by price increases on its sub-premium portfolio. ABI was quick to note that it gained share across its “Focus Brands” in the U.S., which include Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois, all of which outperformed the market. Another focus brand, Budweiser, saw its rate of decline slow during the period. “Accelerating the growth of Bud Light is our number-one priority in the U.S.,” ABI said.

The beer giant also touted third quarter innovations like Natty Daddy malt liquor, Tilt Long Island Tea, Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat and a Shock Top sampler pack as enlivening its U.S. offering, and said another new entry, Bud Light Platinum, a higher-alcohol extension, would roll out in January.

Across its global business, ABI’s revenue was up 3.6% to $10.2 billion in the third quarter, and up 4.2% to $29.2 billion over the first nine months of 2011. In addition to a 17% third-quarter rise in “high-end shipment volumes” in the U.S.—including Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Land Shark and Shock Top—the revenue performance was driven by Skol, Brahma and Antarctica in Brazil; Budweiser and Harbin in China; and Bud in Russia.

 

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