Anheuser-Busch InBev: A Deep-Dive Into Its 17 Billion-Dollar Brands

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is the largest beer company in the world, and this was no accident. The company has grown into the giant it is today, thanks in large part to its industry-leading brand portfolio.

The company has slowly built up its brand portfolio over time, through investment in its own brands, as well as acquisition. Indeed, some of the company’s top brands were obtained through M&A. The end result is that Anheuser-Busch InBev is now the unquestioned industry giant, a large-cap stock with a market cap of nearly $100 billion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has a diversified portfolio consisting of over 500 brands, including 8 of the world’s top 10 most valuable beer brands.

Anheuser-Busch InBev now has 17 brands in its portfolio that each generate $1 billion or more in annual sales. The company previously had 18 billion-dollar brands but lost one after divesting Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi Group Holding, Ltd. for approximately $11 billion late last year.

This article will discuss the company’s 17 billion-dollar brands in greater detail, as well as AB-InBev’s future growth prospects and stock valuation.

Budweiser

Budweiser needs no introduction. It has stood as a core product throughout the company’s history. According to the company, the yeast cells used to brew every bottle of this American-style lager are directly descended from the original culture used by founder Adolphus Busch.

Budweiser has been marketed as the “King of Beers”, and traces its beginnings all the way back to 1876. The history of Anheuser-Busch is extremely impressive, and the company’s growth over the past several decades is due in large part to Budweiser.

Adolphus Busch traveled to America from Germany in 1857. He landed in St. Louis, drawn there due to the large German population, and got a job at a brewing supply company. Among his clients was Eberhard Anheuser, who owned E. Anheuser & Company. Adolphus actually married Eberhard’s daughter in 1861.

After fighting for the Union during the Civil War, Adolphus went to work for his father-in-law, rising up the ranks quickly due to its sharp business sense and innovative new ideas. One example of this leadership is that Adolphus Busch was pasteurizing his beer before America was pasteurizing milk.

By 1875, Adolphus was named secretary-treasurer of the company, and in 1879, the company’s name was officially changed to Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. After Eberhard’s passing in 1880, Adolphus became president.

When investors think of market disruption, modern-day tech companies typically come to mind. But Adolphus Busch was a disruptor of his own age. In the late nineteenth century, most of the beer produced in America was heavy, dark ales. However, the hot summers meant there was a sizeable market opportunity for crisp, lighter lagers–and the rest is history.

Bud Light

It was more than 100 years after Budweiser’s creation until the company released Bud Light, which was originally known as Budweiser Light. Like most light beers, Bud Light has less carbohydrates, fewer calories, and a lower alcohol content than Budweiser. It was released in response to changing consumer preferences. As consumers became more health-conscious, demand for light beer has only increased, a trend that remains today.

While Budweiser is widely considered to be Anheuser-Busch InBev’s flagship, Bud Light is actually the world’s best-selling American light beer lager. According to market research from Beer Marketer’s Insights, Bud Light is the #1 beer in America, shipping more than 27 million barrels as of 2018. Bud Light held greater than 13% market share all by itself in 2018, an incredible accomplishment given the thousands of different beers sold around the world.

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