No to higher-strength Stella

31 October, 2008

In bev has denied plans to introduce a more premium version of its market-leading Stella Artois brand.

Drinks producers do not usually allow themselves to talk about NPD plans, but In bev has taken the unusual step of dismissing reports it is planning the launch of a 5.5% abv variant called Stella Black.

A spokesman from In bev UK said that despite "constantly looking at a number of product innovations, In bev UK categorically denies it is launching any variants of Stella Artois at a higher abv than currently available".

A report in a marketing magazine had claimed that In bev was attempting to reclaim an aspirational image for Stella Artois with the launch. The brand is regularly targeted by supermarkets in discounting activity and the "reassuringly expensive" tag has been retired.

In bev, which recently launched Stella 4% and is

trialling a 0.5% abv variant Stella Artois Low Alcohol in a number of Tesco stores, has already undergone two separate marketing revamps for Stella Artois in the space of a year.

Insiders say

variants of the Stella brand may be

an attempt to distance

itself from its "wife-beater" image.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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