Inbev eyes lower alcohol Stella for UK

23 June, 2008

Inbev has confirmed it is considering launching a lower alcohol version of Stella Artois in the UK.

In a statement to OLN, Inbev said: “There are a number of innovations that we are considering: some of these include 4 per cent concepts from Stella Artois and the Artois brands.”

Stella, while still the number one beer in the UK off-trade last year, has struggled to maintain sales.

A four per cent Stella may form part of an attempt to shake off the brand’s association with lad culture, and in particular its unfortunate “wife beater” nickname.

It would also follow the successful launch of other lower alcohol lagers, such as Becks Vier.

Stuart MacFarlane, who recently became Inbev’s UK’s fourth boss in five years, told OLN in April he found the “wifebeater” tag offensive.

He said the group needed to innovate to fend off rivals like Carlsberg and Heineken. "I see innovation as packaging, dispense and new liquid, and new brands. We have to tackle all three."

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