By Amy Looker
Stella Artois is the first casualty for Foster’s following its acquisition by SABMiller, with confirmation that the brand is moving to the Lion portfolio.
Stella Artois, along with Belgian specialty beers Hoegaarden, Leffe and Belle-Vue Kriek is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the world’s leading beer companies.
Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Belle-Vue Kriek are due to depart the Foster’s stable in April next year, at which time Lion will assume control of marketing and distribution.
Lion is also set to begin brewing Stella Artois under licence in Australia, though no hard date has been set for the commencement.
Foster's meanwhile, will take over distribution for some of SABMiller's leading international brands including Peroni.
Lion managing director, James Brindley, said that the new agreement is part of AB InBev’s strategy to consolidate its global brands into one business in Australia and New Zealand.
Lion NZ currently controls the marketing and distribution of Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Belle-Vue Kriek in New Zealand.
“We are thrilled to be adding Stella Artois and Belgian specialty beers Hoegaarden, Leffe and Belle-Vue Kriek to our existing portfolio of international premium beers, which also includes AB InBev’s Beck’s and Budweiser,” said Brindley.
“International premium is one of the fastest growing segments of the beer market, and Stella Artois is a great beer with an impressive heritage. We are looking forward to working with Anheuser-Busch InBev to grow Stella Artois and the Belgian specialties locally.”