Busch: A Great Recession Libation

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Sales of the "Blue Train" are heading for the mountains.
  • Sales of the "Blue Train" are heading for the mountains.
Anheuser-Busch InBev posted strong gains yesterday for the first quarter of 2009.

The results surprised some analysts who thought the weak economy and transition pains from InBev's 2008 acquisition of Anheuser-Busch could disrupt sales. Instead the combined company saw revenue increase 4.7 percent and liquid sales grow by 0.9 percent.

But the real news came by way of the Wall Street Journal this week, which reported that the company's Busch beer has seen sales grow by a whopping 5.3 percent this year as consumers trade in "premium beers" for cheaper labels.

Reports the Journal:

The economy brews are flourishing despite relatively little advertising. Natural Light, Busch Light and Busch are the nation's fifth-, seventh- and eighth-largest beer brands by volume, but Anheuser spent less than $4 million, combined, promoting them last year, according to research firm TNS Media Intelligence. That compares with more than $270 million for Bud and Bud Light.
And according to an A-B InBev press release the brewer plans more of the same this year, saying it will continue to push its premium brands -- Stella Artois, Budweiser -- over lower-priced models.

Hmm. Wonder if that's one of the reason you have to beat the bushes to find a Busch beer in Busch Stadium this year?

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