Brewing giant SAB Miller wants women to drink more beer in new product launch


Laura Chesters
Tuesday 07 October 2014 15:08

Brewing giant SAB Miller has found a new target after Heineken spurned its advances - women.

The maker of Peroni and Miller Lite hopes to attract people who drink wine and spirits to switch to beer and is working on marketing strategies and new products to tempt them.

SAB’s group marketing director Nick Fell said: “We know there’s untapped potential in beer and it’s time to change the image of beer as just a drink for guys watching sport. Why shouldn’t beer be a great choice with food or something that has much more appeal for women?”

Chief executive Alan Clark set out the groups plan at an investor seminar in London today and said the beer industry in general should move away from adverts that are “offensive” to women. He said a “major step” is to “stop being insulting to groups of people, such as women.”

It has already launched a shandy style Foster’s Radler and in the US its Redd’s Apple Ale has been a hit. It plans further launches of different flavours and styles.

SAB, which last month received a rejection of its takeover approach from Dutch rival Heineken, spoke about its M&A plans at the event. Mr Clark said there was no truth in speculation the brewer's interest in Heineken was a “defensive” move to protect itself from being taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev. He said SAB "will continue to be assertive and search for growth."

As part of its search for growth Mr Clark said the group will “attract more consumers on more occasions” and will also look to expand its ranges to go more upmarket or “premium”.

SAB admires what consumer goods giant Nestle has done in the coffee category such as the growth of its Nespresso brand.

Mr Fell added: “What was previously a one-dimensional drink has become everything from an inexpensive cup of instant at home to a premium-priced speciality drink in a coffee shop with a huge range of exotic flavours and styles. We have the same opportunity and vision for beer.”

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