Perhaps in response to sliding beer sales, Anheuser-Busch has made the decision to commit $500 million to making “fresher beer” for Budweiser. Critics have noted that Budweiser did not say anything about improving the taste or quality of their beer — they are just looking to shorten the time between bottling and distribution. The new investments would add two new $82 million facilities in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, which would shorten the time it would take to get the beer from the factory to your fridge.
Parent company AB InBev’s total sales have dropped between .5 and 1.5 percent over the past few years, as the market shifts to craft beer. In 2014, for the first time, sales growth of craft beer surpassed that of largescale domestic brews like Budweiser. Budweiser addressed this competitive shift in their 2015 Super Bowl advertisement, in which they mocked craft beer drinkers.
Since then, the beer giant seems to have changed its strategy, instead focusing on mimicking the success of smaller breweries, and acquiring craft breweries like Blue Point and Karbach. Budweiser also made headlines for its mega-merger with SABMiller in 2014, a deal which made it the largest beer company in the world by a wide margin. Together, AbInBev and SABMiller produce 27 percent of the world’s beer, according to The Richest.
But it has not been enough to meet the shifting demands of the beer drinking population.
"The market continues to be very competitive and much more fragmented," AB InBev CEO João Castro Neves told press. "We’re making those investments to cope with all this additional complexity."