Anheuser Busch CEO On Dry January, Hard Seltzer And CBD

Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (NYSE: BUD) CEO Carlos Brito spoke to CNBC from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum to talk about some of the more notable beverage trends for 2020 and beyon

Benzinga · 01/21/2020 20:30

Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (NYSE: BUD) CEO Carlos Brito spoke to CNBC from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum to talk about some of the more notable beverage trends for 2020 and beyond.

'Dry January'

One of the immediate trends in the beverage industry is "dry January" where consumers give up drinking alcohol for the first month of the year. Ab-InBev is well positioned to offer the public an alternative drink as it sells alcohol-free beer. In fact, a "zero-zero" (0.0 alcohol) beer is the fastest-growing category in Europe.

Regardless, the CEO said there is zero impact on its financials from "dry January," although it won't ignore the profitable market.

"If you want to grow, you have to go where consumers are," he said. "And consumers all drink something."'

Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzer beverages have been available for sale for five years but only started taking off last summer, Brito said. The category is seeing momentum as it fits into broader health and wellness trends. Also, the beverage can also win over consumers across the world.

Perhaps more important, seltzer represents a welcome change as it's trendy, profitable and growing -- something the beer category hasn't shown much in the past few years, he said.

CBD In Canada

Ab-InBev is testing a CBD infused non-alcoholic beverage in Canada where it's fully legal to do so but it is still too early to gauge the true market potential, Brito said.

Anheuser Busch trades around $78.96 per share.

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