Anheuser-Busch InBev is investing in two new areas: sweet ciders and dark beers.
Anheuser-Busch, which introduced premium-priced Stella Artois Cidre last year in the U.K., rolled out low-calorie Michelob Ultra Light Cider in May in the U.S. Anheuser-Busch joins other large brewers like Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S in growing their cider offerings. The category grew 20 percent last year.
That contrasts with a 2 percent decline in beer, according to Euromonitor International, as cited by Bloomberg Businessweek. The brewery recently received federal labeling approval for five new beers, all extensions of their current brands and all amber or black in color. The popularity of craft beers has made way for more expensive niche brands, Anheuser-Buschs’ “black” line may be aimed this craft crowd. A-B has lost market share in recent years to more flavorful craft beers and is beginning to swing back.