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Peroni Nastro Azzurro the UK's fastest growing premium beer

15 May 2008

Woman holding Peroni bottle 

SABMiller reveals today that its premium imported Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, is the UK’s fastest growing premium beer brand. This follows the release of year end figures that show it defying current beer trends.  Re-launched in the UK in 2005, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is the fastest-growing top 10 premium lager, with sales up by over 39%* versus last year.
*Miller Brands UK Sales figures

In a premium lager market which is struggling to retain value, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is building growth whilst remaining premium priced versus the market average in all formats.

Alan Clark, Managing Director for SABMiller Europe comments; “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.”

In the UK, Peroni Nastro Azzurro has focused marketing activities around the brand’s Italian style credentials; partnering with chef Giorgio Locatelli to bring the classic Italian ‘aperitivo’ moment to life by creating bite-sized dishes to accompany Peroni Nastro Azzurro, working with Vogue Italia to produce a photographic retrospective of ‘50 years of Italian Style’ and, later this year, working with iconic Italian design brand Alessi to produce bespoke pieces. 

The sales strategy has been similarly focussed, 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.

Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the Superbrands Councils and Chief Executive of the Centre for Brand Analysis, says “In a competitive area, like the market for beers and ciders; truly innovative, engaging and interesting marketing communications, along with a superior product, are vital to enable you to stand out. Peroni Nastro Azzurro continues to be seen in our research as one of the coolest beer brands in the country and has improved its position again this year, reflecting people’s perception of it as an original, desirable, innovative and stylish brand.”

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is brewed by SABMiller’s Italian subsidiary, S.p.A. Birra Peroni.  It is marketed and distributed in the UK by Miller Brands UK and can be purchased in stylish, contemporary bars and clubs in cities around the country.


Notes to Editors

About Peroni Nastro Azzurro

SABMiller acquired a majority interest in Birra Peroni in May 2003.  For decades a favourite with Italian beer drinkers, in 2005 Peroni set out to change people’s perceptions of traditional beer drinking and re-launched its Peroni Nastro Azzurro with a sleek new look that reflected its authentic Italian heritage.  The rebranding enabled Peroni Nastro Azzurro to be relaunched across the world, but the beer has always retained its original crisp, refreshing Italian taste.  To support the brand re-launch, SABMiller announced the global brand strategy for Peroni Nastro Azzurro which kicked off in London with ‘Emporio Peroni’ – an exclusive non-shop boutique. Situated on London’s Sloane Street, a single bottle of Peroni Nastro Azzurro was showcased on an illuminated plinth in a blank white retail space, captivating passers by who could look but not enter the shop.  It was estimated that 63 million people around the world saw or heard the resulting news stories. The same groundbreaking marketing activation has since appeared in the US, Poland, Peru, Monaco and Puerto Rico.

Building on the success of Peroni Nastro Azzurro’s 2005 re-launch, SABMiller invested $50 million to support the brand’s global communications campaign in 2006.  As part of the global campaign, the trailblazing Italian lager delighted audiences with its remake of Federico Fellini’s classic film, La Dolce Vita.  In paying homage to this icon of Italian cinema, Peroni Nastro Azzurro also affirmed its place in the history of Italian style. 

About SABMiller plc

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group’s brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
This announcement is available on the company website:

About Miller Brands UK

Miller Brands was launched in 2005 and is a subsidiary of SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers. Miller Brands have assumed responsibility for the development of all SABMiller`s international premium brands across the UK; these include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft. Through its consistent pricing and distribution discipline, supplemented by engaging marketing activities, Miller Brands is bringing value back into the beer category. Sales are currently growing in excess of 30% year on year in a declining market and this is increasingly recognized and referenced by retailers.


Bianca Shevlin
Corporate Media Relations Manager
SABMiller plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 0172

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