SABMiller’s UK brands show strong growth

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th November 2010

Popularity of the ‘world beer’ category drives 25% growth.

SABMiller announces that its UK subsidiary, Miller Brands, has delivered lager volume growth of 25% on an organic basis in the first six months of the financial year to September 2010. The Peroni Nastro Azzurro brand maintained its momentum, with growth of 22%.

In contrast to many brewers which saw a slump in demand post the FIFA World Cup, Miller Brands has maintained its strong performance, creating substantial value for on and off-trade retailers. Its portfolio, which includes Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Lech, Tyskie, Miller Genuine Draft and most recently a Czech import called Kozel, now has a 34% market share of the ‘world beer’ category in the UK.

Growth in the emerging world beer category reflects increasing consumer interest in the provenance of brands, and is part of a global trend favouring craft and import products in the super-premium beer segment. In the United States, craft beer volumes grew by 7.2%1 in calendar year 2009, in an overall beer industry which declined by 2.22%. In the UK, cask-conditioned or real ale is also outperforming the market for the third year running.

Miller Brands Managing Director, Nick Miller, says:

“Brands in the world beer category, such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Kozel, have proven extremely popular with the discerning 25-34 year old and are helping to challenge some of the negative stereotypes that have been associated with beer in recent years.

“Many of the consumers who are new to this category are also experimenting with different flavours in products such as coffee and chocolate, demonstrating a curiosity born out of a broader range of international experiences.”

Miller Brands recently launched the 4% ABV Czech lager, Kozel, into the UK market. The business carried out extensive research to establish exactly which brand would be the best fit and Kozel was chosen for its combination of authentic Czech taste and genuinely distinctive provenance.

SABMiller’s US operation, MillerCoors, recently announced the formation of Tenth and Blake, an independent company to manage the sale and distribution of its portfolio of craft beers and imports – two segments growing in the otherwise flat beer industry.