Interbrew UK's distribution drive has generated additional annual sales of over 4m pints for Stella Artois, the company's flagship brand.

According to company estimates, the distribution push will generate extra business of more than 14,000 barrels over the next 12 months.

Allan Tudor, on-trade sales director at Interbrew UK said: "We are delighted with the response from free traders which illustrates the fact that more retailers now appreciate the commercial sense of stocking Stella Artois.

"The fact is that Stella Artois is an absolute imperative for those accounts which are free to choose. This distribution drive has emphasised that and the positive response shows that many retailers have now taken the message on board."

The push, which took place during March and April 2001, included a direct mail campaign to thousands of non-stockists; a telemarketing campaign and sales force activity, targeting thousands of suitable outlets nationwide.

According to Interbrew UK the initiative delivered more than 300 new accounts in the independent free trade, 600 plus new distribution points and more than 400 product placements for other brands within the Interbrew UK portfolio including Boddingtons.

"Despite the gains made during this drive, draught distribution in the free trade lags well behind the market as a whole and we are committed to addressing that issue in the future," adds Tudor.