AB InBev Touts Investments In 'Mega Brands,' Digital, D2C Platforms

All eyes were on Anheuser-Busch InBev again yesterday, as the leading global beer company reported its earnings for the first quarter of 2024 following a busy Super Bowl marketing blitz.

AB InBev reported an overall net revenue increase of 2.6%, and 6.7 net revenue increase from "mega brands," specifically surpassing analyst estimates. 

“Our performance was driven by our super-premium portfolio, which grew volumes by double digits, led by Corona and Stella,” AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said in prepared remarks opening the earnings call with investors and analysts.

“Our mega brands are the top brands in each market that make up the majority of our volume today and are expected to drive the majority of our growth going forward. We are disproportionately allocating sales and marketing investments behind these brands to accelerate brand power, build deep consumer connections and drive efficient profitable growth. and we are seeing the results,” Doukeris explained.



Doukeris also discussed the importance of company’s strategy of digitizing and monetizing its brand ecosystem, as well as the role of D2C.

This approach, Doukeris said, continues to “expand usage and reach, capturing approximately $11 billion in gross merchandising value, a 23% increase year over year, and reaching 3.6 million monthly active users.”

According to the company, its digital and D2C platforms generated around 18 million unique orders for Q1. “That's 18 million data points to generate deep consumer insights, develop new consumption occasions, and drive incremental revenue for our business,” Doukeris explained.

Due to the increased focus on digital channels, in relation to both D2C and retail relationships, he explained, “We know that data is the place to mine for efficiencies. So we've been investing more, but in a more efficient way for growth.”

He added, "we validate ideas with 10,000 surveys with our consumers in a matter of minutes, or we can digitally test ideas on a database of millions of consumers and understand real behavior like purchase behavior rather than just declared behavior."

He also expressed optimism about  the company’s marketing opportunities in the coming months, touting “a very strong set of assets that go through [the NBA season],” followed by Copa America, Michelob Ultra’s exclusive sponsorship with of Team USA for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, and the NFL season to close out the year.

“So we are very confident on the execution,” he said, adding that with Michelob Ultra and Busch Light’s “all-time high [market] share,” and “gaining momentum,” the company would “continue to work together with the partners to take the best out of the great summer of activations that we have in the remaining part of the year.”

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