SABMiller is to launch its premium beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzuro in South America.

The Italian beer brand will be available in the Colombian on-trade in the coming weeks, the brewer said today (14 September). The move marks Peroni's first appearance in South America and will be SABMiller's first foreign imported beer in the region.

Peroni will initially be available in high-end on-trade premises in Bogotá and Medellin, with seasonal availability in Cartagena. The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign including above and below the line activity, which will focus on Peroni's Italian positioning.

"This launch is an important step for us as we develop our portfolio of brands to satisfy the needs of all Colombian beer consumers," said Karl Lippert, president of SABMiller's South American subsidiary Bavaria.

Speaking to just-drinks today, a spokesperson for SABMiller explained the thinking behind introducing Peroni to Colombia. "There is quite a sophisticated on-trade in Colombia, meaning that there's serious opportunity to focus on the aspirational status of consumers," the spokesperson said. "Whilst (Bavaria's) Club Colombia is already available in the premium segment, we believe the market is ripe for an international premium offering like Peroni."