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The growth of local premium brands

19 May 2011

Today we've announced our full year results and one of the principle messages coming out of the numbers is that our local premium brands have played an important role in driving our revenue growth.  Our aim is to develop strong, relevant brand portfolios that win in the local market; and local premium brands have a critical role to play in this.

In South Africa, Castle Lite has been a great success story and its growth continues to accelerate. Castle Lite's position is built on a simple and effective platform of ‘extra cold', which the team has executed meticulously; from the installation of specialised fridges in selected outlets; through temperature sensitive packaging which changes colour when the beer is cold; to some brilliant TV ads featuring Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer.

Building local premium brands is a strategy that we're executing in a wide variety of markets, although it manifests itself differently according to local consumer insight. In both Colombia and Peru, we've had success with premium, red variants of local brands - Club Colombia and Cusquena. Cusquena Red was introduced as a one-off seasonal beer, but there has been huge consumer demand to introduce it as a permanent fixture, with over 200,000 votes on its website to date. Club Colombia Roja was launched in November last year as a Christmas limited edition but, again, consumers like it so much that the decision was taken to make it available all year round.

Craft beer continues to be the big story in the United States and Blue Moon, the Belgian style wheat beer, is playing its part in this. It trades in the super premium sector of the market, but has captured consumers' imaginations and is growing at a phenomenal rate.

We are building local premium offerings on every continent - from Snow Crystal Malt in China, to Nile Gold in Uganda; you can see profiles of nearly 200 brands. Premiumisation is an important trend in the beer industry and we are working to ensure that our brand portfolios are optimised to meet consumers' needs. 

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