UK: InBev unveils Stella Artois 4% for UK market
InBev has confirmed full details of the impending launch of Stella Artois 4% abv in the UK.
The addition of the Artois variant, announced late last week, was detailed in London today (26 June) and will see Stella Artois 4% primarily target the UK off-trade. The beer will be available in cans from August, before an on-trade version, with its own font, will hit the UK in November.
The RRP of Stella Artois in the UK off-trade will be GBP3.49 for four 440cl cans, and "a 10% premium to the rest of the 4% abv category" in the country's on-trade, InBev said.
"The beer market in the UK is declining," said InBev UK & Ireland's president, Stuart MacFarlane. "While other FMCG companies have innovated heavily, particularly in the direction of premiumisation, beer has been left behind.
"In the UK beer market, the term 'premium' has in the past been proportional to the abv strength, but this perception is changing."
Stella Artois 4% will join InBev's Beck's Vier and Peeterman Artois in the 4% abv category, MacFarlane noted. Heineken's Amstel was pinpointed as the unit's main competition in the category.
The new beer will sit alongside the original 5.2% abv Stella Artois, described by MacFarlane as "the lifeblood" of our organisation. While a small amount of cannibalisation is expected, MacFarlane said he believed the introduction of Stella Artois 4% could "take the category to a different place".
The beer will be backed by "significant millions" in advertising support, which will include TV, press, posters and online support. MacFarlane added: "It will significantly out-punch anything the beer category has seen for quite a while."
A bottled version of the beer, which has been designed specifically for the UK market, is expected within 12 months of launch.
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