In the past year, total UK beer sales have fallen by 6% with premium lager brands seeing a 5% decline. But while other brewers are struggling to maintain market share, Miller Brands (UK) has seen good results across its portfolio.
Believing that international premium brands can still command growth, even in a mature market, the business has chosen to position Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell at the top of the UK market and to back them with exciting and distinctive marketing. The strategy is working. Both brands are bucking the market trend and the business as a whole has increased volumes by 20% in the course of the year.
The best performer has been Peroni Nastro Azzurro which recorded an increase of almost 40% in sales volume. With a carefully nurtured brand image firmly linked to Italian style, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is appealing to a broad range of consumers, many of them not traditional lager drinkers. This image is reinforced through marketing activities such as Miller Brands’ recent collaboration with fashion designer, Antonio Berardi.
To maintain its exclusivity, Peroni Nastro Azzurro Draught is available in only 3,500 carefully selected outlets. Bottled Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the number one premium packaged lager in UK restaurants, is also doing well, not just through on-premise outlets but through off-premise retailers as well.
Pilsner Urquell – the original pilsner from Plzen – increased its sales by over 20%. As a brand, it’s two or three years behind Peroni Nastro Azzurro in its development and Miller Brands, again, is focusing draught sales on a few, selected, premium outlets. Its forthcoming sponsorship of the British Open Golf Tournament will further enhance its reputation.
A third brand in the UK portfolio, Miller Genuine Draft, is also showing growth, especially in Scotland where the brand sponsors music venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow.