Anheuser-Busch InBev introduced a new distributors incentive program last month that has craft brewers worried about losing shelf space at stores across the country.
The program would make as much as $1.5 million in annual reimbursements available for U.S independent distributors if 98 percent of the products they sell are from A-B InBev, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
A-B InBev, the Belgian parent company of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, estimated the average annual benefit to distributors who use the program would be around $200,000.
The plan is part of the brewer’s goal of restoring volume growth in the U.S. Craft brewers are concerned the new program will encourage distributors to stop stocking competing brewers.