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SABMiller executives set out long-term vision for superior growth

Chief executive Alan Clark said: “SABMiller has always been about strong growth and performance. To ensure we continue on this trajectory in the future, we’ve sharpened our strategy to focus on three key elements: driving superior topline growth, becoming more efficient and concentrating on the highest growth opportunities.

“Our long experience of operating in emerging markets means we are well-positioned to capture the opportunities from these high-growth markets. But in the more mature and fragmented markets, we need a new approach. We have a long-term vision to push out the boundaries of the beer category, appealing to more consumers on more occasions through innovation and challenging traditional perceptions of beer.”

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?

“Achieving this will take time but it can be done. Just look at coffee. 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.

“We are already seeing good results from strengthening our core lager brands and expanding our portfolios into new areas such as radlers, flavoured beers and ciders. Our new strategy for beer takes us further. We believe our unrivalled local market insights – as the most local of the global brewers – combined with our size and scale will allow us to really shape the future of beer in new and interesting ways.”

Chris Ritchie, MD for SABMiller in Panama, and Andrew Highcock, MD for SABMiller in Poland presented case studies, illustrating how plans to expand the beer category will work in their markets.

Highlights from the presentations

Alan-ClarkAlan Clark
Strategic choices:
Drive superior topline growth with an insight-based long-term growth strategy for the beer category:

  • Extending occasions when consumers may choose beer.
  • Offering beers as alternatives to wine and spirits.
  • Improving premium mix.
  • Ensuring affordability in emerging markets.

Liberate resources to win in market and reduce costs:

  • Cost reduction and efficiency programmes, including the introduction of global business service centres; enhancements across global supply chain; and increased scope of SABMiller Procurement.
  • These programmes liberate resources to re-invest in front-line execution.

Shape global footprint to contribute to superior growth

  • Focus resources on highest growth opportunities.
  • Where the right opportunities arise M&A remains a core component of growth strategy.
  • Deliver superior performance in soft drinks operations, where SABMiller has an increasing focus as a complement to beer operations.

Nick-FellNick Fell
SABMiller beer category strategy:

  • Beer currently has the largest value share at 28% of the global packaged beverages universe.
  • To date, beer’s heartland has been masculine consumer occasions. To grow share of the global packaged beverages space, beer must become increasingly relevant to a broader range of consumers on more occasions.

Long-term strategy to achieve this:

  • Define consumer occasions to target, using deep local consumer insights; identify those where beer is under-represented, e.g. evening meal occasions, formal and informal mixed-gender occasions, family relax occasions, etc.
  • Understand the benefits consumers are seeking from drinks on these occasions, including taste, premium feel, affordability, packaging, etc.
  • Align a beer beverage that will meet these criteria, delivering the benefits that suit a specific occasion.
  • This will include positioning of new and existing styles of beer using new and existing brands and packaging, with a focus on premiumisation, e.g. radlers, ciders, wheat beers, sharing packs, etc.
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