ABI Industry News Update #5

New Forecast of Global Beer Market Rebound Sees China at the Epicenter of Growth

Global Beer Market to increase 40% by 2022

New research projects global beer market growth from $530Bn to $750Bn between 2017 and 2022 with an average annual growth of 6%.

China Beer Market to grow 84% by 2020

UBS recent research sees consumer spending on beer in the past year rise consistently across China and projects a strong growth of 28%. The firm has also raised target price for QingDao to ¥45.37 from ¥21.41.

Link to article

Link to article


Japanese Beer Brands Uphill Battle in the China Market


Recent sale of Asahi’s share of its holding in Qingdao Beer has gotten people taking a closer look at Japanese brands  plight in China. As Asahi’s CEO Izumiya Naoki explained that over 70% of China’s market are controlled by more 3-4 big manufacturers, as the market growth begins to slow down it is very hard for the brand to grow in the segment.

Caught at an awkward position Japanese brands have priced higher than some of the European import brands, but have yet to even justify their differentiation from some of the most local beers. Asahi is not the only brand that has faced challenge in China, in 2015 Suntory also sold 50% of its holding in Qingdao back to the corporation. Kirin on the other front has been growing the brand for more than 5 years in China but only account for less than 0.16% of the market.

Because of this Asahi is changing strategies. They are looking to move into the more premium category with the biggest profit margins by introducing their European brands into China in 2018, but is still under heavy competition to establish consumer base.

Link to article


ABI Communications Update #4

Tiger Beer: 3890 Don’t let world’s tigers disappear


There are currently only around 3890 tigers living in the wild and risks extinction from over hunting.Tiger partners with WWF to bring awareness to the issue and created a campaign that involved 8 artists from around the globe that creates art about Tigers and users and choose out of 8 designs to customize their own poster via social media page.Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 12.21.19 PM

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Uncage, an ultimate climbing challenge


In celebrating the unleashing of inner tigers, Tiger Beer brings a obstacle climbing challenge and  to 5 cities in China to embrace the daring spirit of Tiger Beers.



Qingdao: Return to roots with new limited edition keg


Qingdao brings back one of its original advertisement from the 1930s a poster with the Romance of Three Kingdoms a classic Chinese story of heroes onto a new limited edition 5L keg. Bringing back the historical ad reminds people Qingdao’s long heritage that consumers rarely knows about. Corona is also a brand with rich advertising history and cultural relevance that is worth communicating to the consumers and remind them of the nuances of Corona’s history.



Catching the Hip Hop train

China has recently been taken over by a new wave of mass hip-hop culture with the airing of the reality talent show “The Rap of China”. Many brands like Alipay and McDonalds have jumped on board the hip-hop culture, the beer industry also follows suit with their own hip-hop creations.

Harbin Beer X MC Jin

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Harbin picked up on hip-hop early with collaboration with MC Jin and social postings of rappers giving shout out to Harbin brand. The campaign has gotten a lot of good receptions online with fans hailing Harbin’s choice for collaboration.

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The Rap of Qingdao



ABI Industry News #4

Budweiser snatches halloween as newest brand celebration


Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.57.29 PM.pngBudweiser has been big on the clubbing and party occasion, and has gone on to represent the western party spirit among young people. This time Budweiser has it’s eye on another fast growing celebration, and taking the opportunity to own the occasion build a stronger connection with millennials. The Bloodweiser is a special pack that includes a coloring liquid that turns the beer liquid red and becomes a perfect accessory during the occasion.

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Budweiser on the importance of female drinkers in China

Beer has been in general a male oriented products, because of the focus on emotional story telling by brands, increasingly female recognition of beer brands are becoming influencing factor in male choices of beer in China.

Of course new opportunities and new occasions are always enticing, as Budweiser’s VP of Marketing pointed out that “for a brand to keep building loyalty it has to keep evolving”, but Budweiser certainly has come a long way from the clydesdale marching pride of America to the EDM party, halloween costume party it feels like Budweiser’s hopped on too many trains that it doesn’t know where it’s heading.



Carlsberg embracing its roots as the first craft brewery

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As all big beer brands are facing the challenge from craft beer Carlsberg have chosen a narrative that challenges boutique brewers’ monopoly over craft beer.

Small breweries are using the idea of craft being about small-scale brewing against us as a marketing tool.

Export: Carlsberg’s latest move to upgrade the premium image of it’s lager

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Being a big brand does not take away Carlsberg’s prestige as one of the first craft beer breweries and is still operate the same way as when it first opened it’s doors. Aside from focusing on improving the product quality and freshness, Carlsberg also prides itself in having a purpose that is to give back more to the world.


We are a company with a purpose. Lots of big international breweries are guilty of taking more from the world than giving back.

Rasmus Bendtsen, Carlsberg


By definition all big beer brands were once a local craft breweries, and back in the day there were as much if not more innovations that went into beer as is does today. The problem people have with big beers are not in their beers which clearly exemplified by the speed that these bland lagers fly off the shelf, but their general lack in sense of purpose other than the Carlsberg’s approach of defining the brand purpose in more than just answering to mindless growth and shareholder values.




ABI Communication Update #3

Brahma: Respect the hangout (and stop GIFing)

Brazilian beer Brahma is tired of the social media craze of Gif pictures, and connects with millennials in a fun way by telling them when Giffing time is over go and get a beer.

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BrewDog: Bar on The Edge a tribute to Trump’s wall

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BrewDog has a history of creating politically interesting campaigns, last years it handed out free beer for everyone who voted in the U.S. election. This year they are vowing to put a bar on the US Mexico border where Trump proposed the wall, U.S. beer will be served on the Mexico side and Mexican beer on the U.S. side. In the words of BrewDog co-founder James Watt:”I guess it would make it more difficult to build a wall if there’s a BrewDog bar in the way”




Bud Light: Famous Among Friends

Between Friends

Bud Light created an emotional ad spot telling the story behind a best man’s speech. Because you’re not just drinking beer, you’re building friendship.

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Friendship Test with John Mayor

In keeping with the theme: “Famous Among Friends” Bud Light created a friendship test with John Mayor to see how far people will go to save a seat for their friend.

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Bud Light: Simplicity

With these two simple spots, Bud Light tries to convince us that simple is better, and Bud Light is simple, just has one more ingredient than most beers, rice.


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Simple is always good, especially in a world where everyone is confusing consumers with fancy benefits, it’s always good to remind people the emotional appeal of being honest and simple.


Throw Back Thursday:

Blitz Weinhard: If it’s worth a trip from Chicago, It’s definitely worth a trip to the store

Oregon has always been proud of it’s naturalist ideals, this spot for Blitz Weinhard from 1980 is really the most over the top Oregon ad we’ve seen.


More Blitz Weinhard goodness from the 1980s

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ABI Industry News Update #3

Female drinkers increase for Corona and Hoegaarden


Corona and Hoegaarden highlights latest growth in China driven by female consumers who find the brands focus on heritage, uniqueness and serving tradition attractive.



Millennials are leaving beer for wine and weed


Goldman Sachs have downgraded rating of Boston Beer Company (Owner of Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard) and Constellation Brands (Corona, Modelo and Ballast Point) anticipating slowdown in sales as millennials converting to wine, spirits and cannabis. For China while import beers in are still premium choices, Chinese millennials are definitely excited about going broader with beer choices. The challenge presented to our premium brands with increasing popularity of craft beer is figuring out how to communicate our craft heritage and nuances of brand sophistication that most Chinese millennial consumers are paying for.



Qingdao Launches the 27th Qingdao Beer Festival

First started in 1991, the 2 week event celebrates culture, arts, food and of course beer. This August Qingdao invites the public to join more than 200 beer brands, featuring star studded evening gala, light sculptures with plenty of food and drinks, and rock concert given by American rock bands in a celebration of beer culture.




Qingdao’s new late night beer wants to tell your story



Collaborating with the new TV show “ Late Night Cafeteria”, Qingdao created a special lineup of beers tailored especially to the late night drinkers. To promote the beer Qingdao wanted people to get creative and tell their stories about late nights and food through art and writing and featured the best 100 stories on the beer’s special packaging. Beer is always better when there’s friends and stories, but when it’s late night and you’re drinking alone some heart felt stories on on a can would definitely go well with a late night convenience take out.


Qingdao created a livestream session with KOLs sharing late night stories on the top of the great wall.



Fried Fried Chicken Chicken Beer

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Virginia’s The veil Brewing introduced a new Fried Chicken beer that is brewed with trace amounts of fried chicken. We keep talking about interesting new beers,why? Because it is of the spirit of brewing to constantly have fun with your beer just like the monks who made the awesome tasting Hoegaardens. “Orange peel? sounds good. Coriander? I don’t know what that is but i want it in my beer. ” We want our consumers to know that we love beer, what better way than to have more fun with it like limited edition fried chicken coronas and strawberry and elderflower infused Hoegaardens?5892761162350592.jpeg


ABI Marketing & Communications Update #2 (July 17th)

World’s blandest beers rivalry over who taste better

Miller Lite: Spelled different because it’s brewed different

Date: Sept 2016

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Craft beer’s recent rise has directly affected the light beer category, consecutively losing shares in the market. The challenger brand Miller Lite blames Bud Light for its frat-boy image that skewed people’s opinion and ignored the core benefit of light beers. In an ad in 2016, Miller Lite has directed at Bud Light and cut through to consumers by going back to essentials of “More taste, half the calories” making it the better light beer than Bud Light. Miller Lite has also gone further to bring the two beers on a cross country road trip in a “Taste Challenge” for America to blind taste the two beers.

Natural Light: getting Miller to mock Miller

July 2017



Since Miller Lite’s aggressive campaign ABI has not taken any move until recently it front lined Natural Light brand as a challenger to Miller, rolling out several ads including one with super model Marissa Miller to call out Miller lite’s juvenile move. The ad also brings back on one of Natural Light’s old advert from 1981. The brand’s social media campaigns messages that focus one “One. Less. Calorie” still falls a bit into the freshman frat-boy naiveté.

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A bit about Natural Light
Natural Light was introduced in 1977 as Anheuser-Busch’s first reduced-calorie light beer. Currently the fifth best-selling beer in America, Natural Light is brewed with a blend of premium hops and a combination of malt and corn (Corn, Ugh…) producing a clean flavor, light body and satisfying refreshment.





Heineken: Worlds Apart, An Experiment.

Date: April 2017

Heineken - Worlds Apart - #OpenYourWorld - YouTube.clipular (1).pngIn a partnership with social movement Human Library, Heineken put together a social experiment that brings people with completely opposing views together to bond over sharing things about themselves and collaborative projects without knowing anything about the other party. When at the end it is revealed that they stand for completely opposing ideologies while still got along perfectly, they are given a choice to either walk away or talk about it over a beer.  You know what they chose.Beer starts conversations, while mostly with friends it can also make friends out of complete strangers.

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The campaign received 40million views and sparked numerous conversations on twitter. With this heart warming campaign Heineken shows us that there are more that unites us than divide us.



Heineken: Open to All

Date: May 2017

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In recent years beer has become a progressive industry. Somehow a product that is practically the symbol of patriarchy has started talking about gender equality, bigotry and social issues. An industry that is as old as mankind itself is surprisingly on top of consumer opinions. Creating lite, ultra lite and low calorie lagers that targets the young runners, climbers and yoga enthusiasts is great, but Heineken has gone one step further to become a beer that is truly “Open to All”. In this new campaign Heineken introduced the new 0.0 non- alcoholic beer, the spot features all kinds of people (including alien) heading over to the bar to crack a cold one and at the end introduces the 0.0 beer for “you, when you don’t fancy alcohol”. The campaign also features 8 ads of different people that would want the good time without alcohol.

Link to  playlist Here




Budweiser: Bud Brewed Locally

Date: July 2017

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595fcdcf118fe.image.jpgAs part of the “Bud Brewed Locally” campaign, Budweiser will feature new packaging that transforms the bottle into 11 state names and motto out of which Budweiser is brewed from.  As well local Budweiser breweries will host open houses around the country for locals to discover their local Bud. This reminder comes at a good time when large commercial breweries like Budweiser are increasingly aware of the impact from local craft breweries which are largely supported by local communities.






ABI Industry News #2 (July 17)

Industry fights over who belongs in the “Craft” club

Lately the craft beer world has been stirred by ABI’s purchase of some of the biggest among craft breweries. Last week the Brewers Association has united craft breweries across the country in preserving the transparency of the “craft beer” label. Independent craft breweries now have a new label to distinguish their independence from big beer.

This week seven of ABI’s recently acquired brands made their complaints public in a video that outlines the Brewers Association’s crime against the market, saying that non- independent breweries still pumps out the same craft goodness, that they are missing the bigger picture of beer’s fight against wines and spirits, starting an in fighting will only help competitors.

Craft beer takes the highest end of the beer market above the premium beers like Corona and Hoegaarden, it’s proper to acquire and diversify portfolio into this segment of the market, but ABI is determined to leave little space for smaller brewers to breath.

The booming of craft beer came from Americans’ support for local, quality beers. When you take a local label and making it national and international it destroys its craft heritage and only brews further antagonization from those who support local . It’s true that the “independent” label does nothing to distinguish quality or taste but what it shows is an effort to preserve the balance to a market that is increasingly monopolized by big beer, and consumers benefit nothing from this non-competitive market. Beer is not fighting an upward battle against wines and spirits, beer is never going away, in fact when we live on Mars millenniums into the future, we will most definitely be making and drinking beer there.

ABI’s clever move to increase appeal of its craft beers to home brewers

As a strategy to get closer to home brewers, the biggest fans of beers, ABI offered up home brew kits from its most recently acquired craft breweries for home brewers to make their very own version of the craft beers. Among those offered are Goose Island Brewing, Elysian Brewing and Wicked Week from ABI’s portfolio. The move helps home brewers get to know the making of their beer and blur the lines between home brew and craft and mass brewed beer.




Constellation Brands CEO on its beer brands’ incredible upside

Constellation Brands, the importer of Corona, Modelo Especiale in US have seen 26% growth in the recent year, CEO Rob Sands shared with CNBC on the “Category Management” tactic that is bringing further growth to its already popular premium beer brands. As retail channels account for most of beer sales, getting more shelf space and more pack sizes on there is the winning strategy. For retailers, they are constantly looking to increase margins with its limited shelf space. Constellation approach retailers and proactively advise retailers on how their over allocation of shelf spaces to low margin brands is hurting their business, and as retailers look for higher margin brands they will be looking at Constellation’s portfolio. Excellent cost management by the big brewers pays off not in increasing volumes pumped out but certainly in the winning combination of lower cost and premium brand image. Beer is not only a staple beverage, it is also a symbol for lifestyle, according to Sands.

“How does a beer get hot?…….it’s an image thing, it makes them feel good when they drink it, it fits their image of themselves when they hold it in their hand”

– Rob Sands, CEO, Constellation Brands



KFC to sell beer in China

KFC recently debut its K PRO restaurant in HangZhou, a new dining restaurant brand that sells western style light meals and salads and away from greasy fast food that Chinese youngsters knows KFC as. To change the dining experience, K PRO is also planning introducing beer to its menu to appeal to younger consumers. This shows that even for fast food giants like KFC is recognizing young people’s change in attitude towards dining, and are addressing their need for more quality dining experiences and how premium beers is a crucial part of quality dining. First tier cities already has an abundance of competitions, while first tier consumers that are spending more for experience and quality it leaves little space for fast food originated food bars like K PRO. There’s opportunity for this combination of light meal and beer to go far elsewhere in China such as second tier cities like Hangzhou where food scene is still largely traditional Chinese food while audience are increasingly curious to try out new food. http://finance.sina.com.cn/chanjing/gsnews/2017-07-03/doc-ifyhryex5819609.shtml



In other news: Guy successfully checked in one can of beer at airport

In a surprising stunt that amazed the internet this week, an Australian man checked in a can of beer as luggage for his holiday trip from Melbourne to Perth. As the beer was over allotted volume to carry on board, he and his mate did it just to crack a joke, but to everyone’s surprise the can came out the other end at the destination undamaged.


ABI Marketing & Communications Update #1

Corona, We make Summer


Corona’s biggest holiday Cinco de Mayo marks the start of “120 days of summer” as for decades the brand’s main focus is on summer activities.This year Corona is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a cool snapchat filter, a bell ringing at NYSE and first time ever outfitting the Time Square ball into a lime and #limedrop to mark the start of the celebrationc3


Jamaica meets Wu Tang meets Sam Adams meets Toy Story

As Samuel Adams looks to depart from the past focus on the art and craft of brewing, is looking to reconnect with customers  emotionally in a fresh new way. The new work features the brands new packaging with complete CGI, reggae cover of the Wu-Tang Clan bringing true summer vibe to the brands iconic summer ale.




Tiger, Beer With a Bite

Introducing the new tagline “Beer with Bite”, Tiger beer pays tribute to its asian heritage with a tour around Singapore’s vibrant streets and their favorite street foods.










Kona: Islanders review phone app

Kona beer’s new Kona reviews features its’ unique islander point of view on the world of mobile internet. You only live once, so do it right. right?



Budweiser brings back the frogs for Bud Light UK

164992!1489161280!601.jpgBudweiser brings the iconic frogs advert from the 1995 Super Bowl for the launch of Bud Light in UK, which will be ABI’s biggest ever brand campaign after a failed launch in 2001. Bud light is perfectly timed as changing younger consumers are looking for a lighter tasting, lower calories and ABV beer.



ABI Industry News #1

Premium brands keeps driving ABI growth in 2017

Latest from ABI’s first quarter financial reports, the corporation’s 1st quarter EBITDA increased 5.4%. Although total volume declined, revenues per hl have increased 4.5% due to effective revenue and cost management and YoY normalized profits increased more than 70% due to new acquisition of SABMiller.

In China, Corona’s 1st quarter revenue grew 18% thanks to early Chinese New Year boost. China market 1st quarter total volume increased by 1.9% but ABI reports industry volume decrease of 0.5 percent.

EN Anheuser-Busch InBev reports First Quarter 2017 Results.pdf


ABI’s United States of Beer

As America’s leading brewer, we will invest close to $500 million in 2017, and $2 billion through 2020 – among the largest ever capital investment programs in U.S. brewing history. Our 2017 investments include:

  • Over $200 million for brewery and distribution projects
  • $180 million for product packaging and innovation initiatives
  • $58 million to improve and increase sustainability at our facilities
  • Maintaining 17,000 jobs in the U.S.


Anheuser-Busch InBev Is Investing $2 Billion In American Breweries


Craft beer world boycott ABI buyouts

ct-wicked-weed-inbev-backlash-20170505-001.jpgABI’s recent acquisition streak of craft brewers to strengthen its premium portfolios is catching head wind. The latest acquisition of North Carolina favorite barrel aged beer brewer Wicked Weed has brought anger to the whole craft brew community, with more than 70 brewers backed out of Wicked Weed’s July festival, craft bars around the country de-stocking its beers and global drinkers boycotting the brand.ABI may have the strong distributions that the craft brands lack, but in the process of turning out national and international craft beer brands, these brands are also losing their biggest fan base.

‘Treachery’: Craft brewery Wicked Weed enrages fans by partnering with Big Beer


Beer season has officially started

1Q17 looks good for beer in China, Qingdao reports 2.6% YoY revenue growth and 8.51% net profit growth. YanJing revenue grew 2.12% and net profit grew 13.85%. 京东(Jd) reports a 39% 1st quarter YoY growth  in beer sales. And relative growth in all alcoholic beverages 26-33%.The market has moved from price competition towards higher price and more premium products. Brands also focus on cost and operation management,  to achieve stable volume and higher revenue and profit. As more craft brands enters the China market, and consumers open up to trying new brands, craft recognition will continue be the key battleground for premium beers. As supermarkets and convenience taking in more distribution shares, it’s crucial for brands to figure out their merchandising and POS strategy to optimize sales in these purchase scenarios.

京东金融发布4月大数据消费指数 “她经济”火爆


Chinese fake beers are hurting brands image and sales


Recently police in Guangxi and FuZhou busted workshops that recycled premium beer cans and bottles, refill them with cheap low quality local beer, and fetching up to more than 10x profit. These beers usually go to restaurants and night clubs where people are less cautious when consuming. Among the fake seized are large quantity of Budweiser, Heineken and 400,000 bottles of Super Bock, a Spanish beer that have been in China since 2008. These fake beers are hurting sales in new markets in 2nd and 3rd tier cities, while and have to potential of major negative impact on brand image with health and safety issues. Many people on social are shocked by the counterfeiters methods and the reach.





QingDao APP launching in Shanghai


Buying beer in cases from supermarket is not fun, especially during the hot summer days. QingDao has captured this need in an convenient O2O App that effectively ties its offline channel distributors into a speedy delivery network for online buyers. The surprisingly innovative app has now launched in 39 cities in china, The latest: Shanghai.

“青啤快购”为生活做减法 即日入驻上海


New beer that boosts your sex drive


Don’t all beers do that?

A brewery in UK came up with a new pilsner which claims to boosts your sex drive. The is brewed from local spring water and the seeds of watercress, a leafy green rich in vitamin and also known as an aphrodisiac.



You Can Now Buy Beer To Boost Your Sex Drive (Apparently)


Ukraine serves up some TRUMP beer


Pravda brewery in Ukraine has introduced a “Trump” branded beer and has quickly caught media attention with its flamboyant imagery. This imperial Mexican lager features the word TRUMP in his favorite color gold with the Mexico wall and the trump tower behind. Vladimir Putin peers out from the wall wearing the signature “Make America Great Again” hat.

Trump beer for sale at brewery in Ukraine