Men ‘feel more confident’ ordering sweet fruity drinks; Men’s increasingly experimental drinks taste is behind SABMiller’s expanded range of beverages

Men ‘feel more confident’ ordering sweet fruity drinks

Men’s increasingly experimental drinks taste is behind SABMiller’s expanded range of beverages

By Olivia Goldhill

6:17PM GMT 11 Feb 2014

Sweeter and fruitier drinks are driving SABMiller sales as men feel increasingly confident ordering alternative beverages.

The world’s second-largest brewer said it was developing its drinks range beyond traditional lagers partly in response to the more experimental tastes of male consumers.

“Men feel much more confident ordering sweeter or fruitier products”, said Tom Verhaegen, managing director of SABMiller Netherlands, speaking at a quarterly investor relations seminar.

The expanded range of drinks choices, intended to be enjoyed alongside food or as an alternative to wine and spirits, is also driven by the growing number of “mixed gender drinking occasions”, where women have a stronger influence on the group drink of choice.

Mr Verhaegen said alternative drinks choices also tapped into the rising demographic of consumers who like to be considered knowledgeable.

“There is a group of consumers with an increasing need to be recognised as experts or connoisseurs in food and drink categories and who like to celebrate special occasions with more premium brands”, he said.

The brewer has created a range of Radlers, which are drunk in Eastern Europe, and a drink called Kornuit in the Netherlands to be drunk alongside food, while a range of less bitter, more unusual Ksiazece beers in Poland are intended to compete with wine and spirits.

SABMiller also said it was focusing on “romancing” its core lager products and improving its premium range, to tap into other demographic shifts such as the growing older generation.

“There’s an aging population which is squeezing our key target group of 25- to 45-year-old beer drinkers. These older consumers are not only becoming more numerous but also more affluent which has an impact on the expectations that they have.

“At the other end of the spectrum we have the millennials who are experimenting more and more not only beyond lager but beyond the beer category, while beer remains their favoured choice”, said Mr Verhaegen.

One of the drinks which taps into more sophisticated tastes is Peroni Nastro Azurro, the second largest premium lager brand in the UK with price per litre 140pc higher than other premium lager.

“Over the last sever years, this brand has broken all the beer category norms in the UK. It has done that by marketing itself as an Italian style icon like Armani or Prada, rather than as a beer”, said Mr Verhaegen.

SABMiller said beer and soft drinks sales in Europe should rise at a low single-digit rate over the next three to five years, as it expands its premium priced drinks range.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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