SABMiller said today (15 May) that its premium imported Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, has become the UK's fastest growing premium beer brand, growing at a rate of over 39% last year.

Alan Clark, managing director for SABMiller Europe said: "The premium lager market is currently polarised; a number of large, household names are suffering in terms of both volume and value, whilst Peroni Nastro Azzurro enjoys significant gains. We firmly believe that this is attributable to the robust distribution and pricing strategy we have implemented and the engaging marketing activities of our UK team.

"Whilst other brands are being heavily discounted, we are consciously taking a very different approach. Peroni Nastro Azzurro offers UK consumers a truly aspirational, premium beer which is helping to restore value to the UK market."

The company said it followed a focused sales strategy for the brand in the UK, with distributors Miller Brands UK following "a disciplined distribution model to ensure that the brand is stocked and marketed in outlets that can ensure throughput and quality."

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is brewed by SABMiller's Italian subsidiary, S.p.A. Birra Peroni.