AB InBev said premiumization, a consumer trend across all its markets, is a key priority for the company as it generates incremental growth. These so-called "above core brands," which are responsible for more than a quarter of AB InBev's total volume, grew "double-digits" in 2019, the company said in its earnings report last week. Anheuser-Busch's latest nitro beer offering is a sign the brewer aims to build off of that success as it struggles to offset the slide the company faces in some of its larger beers.
With consumers having a larger variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from, companies need to find ways to make their products stand out. For Anheuser Busch, Budweiser Nitro Gold could resonate with consumers similar to other specialty brews that have been introduced in recent years — such as its Freedom Reserve Red Lager inspired by George Washington and its partnership with Jim Bean to create Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. None, however, have been enough to move the financial needle for the company.
It appears the move by beer companies such as Anheuser Busch to take advantage of the premium trend sweeping food and beverages is a good one, but so far it's not be enough to offset the broader decline sweeping the space unless one or more the new innovations hits it big with consumers.