By Ian Neubauer

The maker of Budweiser has refused a challenge from TheShout to prove Bud Light is still the best-selling beer in the world.

Contacted this week, ABInBev spokesperson Gwendoline Ornigg declined to produce figures to substantiate a statement published in the company’s 2008 annual report claiming “Bud Light has become the world’s best-selling beer”.

“We unfortunately don’t disclose the breakdown per brand of the volumes,” Ornigg told TheShout.

However, Snow Breweries, a joint venture between the Chinese Government and UK-based brewing giant SABMiller, claims Snow Beer is now the best-selling beer in the world, with 61 million hectolitres in volume sales for 2008. (A hectoliter is 100 litres).

This compares to 128.4 hectolitres in volume sales in 2008 for ABInBev’s combined portfolio, which includes Becks, Stella Artois and the Budweiser family of beers, among other leading global brands.

Market research firms estimate Bud Light beer sales for 2007 ranged between 51 and 52 billion litres. ABInBev has refused to verify the figures.

Brewed to be universally popular and transcend regional tastes, Budweiser, named after the German village of Budweis, became the US’s first national beer brand after it was launched in 1876.

Its lower ABV offshoot, Bud Light, holds 50 per cent of the premium-light category in the US. Since 1997 it has grown market share across virtually every age, gender and demographic group in the country.

Snow Beer has seen meteoric growth since Snow Breweries began investing heavily in breweries and distribution channels in 2001, with volume sales roughly doubling each year.

Snow Beer has received dismal reviews from English-speaking beer reviewers. It is not available for sale outside Mainland China.



The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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