HK-listed brewer Budweiser Brewing Co APAC Ltd will focus on premiumisation, digital transformation and market expansion in China in the near future, given the country’s soaring demand for premium and healthy beverage products, as well as its strategic importance in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Budweiser foresees opportunities coming from China’s rapid growth in the digital economy as well as its transformation. Jan Craps, co-chair and CEO of Budweiser APAC said, “The opportunities also come from consumers’ surging demand for beer products with new flavors and the government’s opening-up policies.”
He added, “With our ongoing premiumisation strategy, we will offer more multi-category premium options for diverse consumers and various consumption scenarios, such as Budweiser Supreme for premium dining occasions, Budweiser Magnum for male consumers, and Budweiser ME3 for engagement of female drinkers.”
With more than 50 plants in the Asia Pacific region, Budweiser APAC’s sales revenue jumped 14.3% to US$5.36 billion in the Asia Pacific region during the first 3 quarters of 2021. China, India, South Korea and Vietnam are its core growth markets.
Craps mentioned that growth was mainly driven by the strong performance of the Chinese market during the 9-month period. He stressed that premiumisation, digital transformation and market expansion will be Budweiser APAC’s 3 key commercial strategies for the coming years.
Global Data projected that China’s high-end and ultra- high-end beer categories is expected to record a CAGR growth of 4.9% from 2018 to 2023, significantly higher than the 0.9% achieved by the overall beer market in the same period.
In the digitalisation front, Budweiser APAC launched BEES – its proprietary B2B digital platform – to enable its wholesalers to optimise operation and broaden their customer bases in the first quarter of 2021. Craps said, “E-commerce represent another priority battleground for us, because its growth can effectively allow us to more closely engage consumers and respond to new consumption trends.”
Budweiser aims to become ‘the most loved high-quality growth leader in beverage’ in both China and the APAC region. China’s long holiday periods, online shopping festivals and stay-at-home economy during the pandemic have created growth momentum for both food and beverage suppliers.