Foster's Group has confirmed that it will reduce the alcohol level of its Victoria Bitter beer in Australia.

The drinks company told just-drinks today (4 July) that the iconic brand - which accounts for roughly 20% of the total beer market in Australia - will see its ABV drop by 0.1%, from 4.9% to 4.8%.

"VB has traditionally sat slightly higher than the rest of the regular beer sector, which covers beers between 4.6% and 4.8%," a spokesperson for Foster's told just-drinks. "By lowering the abv, we bring VB in line with our competitors. The beer market is fragmenting, with lots of new brands coming out, and by working outside the regular beer sector, you can be less competitive.

"This change will not affect the taste of the beer."

The spokesperson also highlighted, however, that the reduction will help in lowering excise tax for the brand. "We haven't put details out about how much this move will save us, but if you work it out, it'll save us around A$10m (US$8.57m)," the spokesperson added.

The change will be implemented in the Australian market at the end of August and beginning of September.