Beer Without Alcohol Part Of New Anheuser-Busch Campaign: Brewer Wants To Reduce Harmful Use Of Alcohol
Source: International Business Times
By Alexandra Suarez
Anheuser-Busch has debuted a series of new initiatives to encourage smart drinking, including plans to push no-and-low alcohol beer products in at least 20 percent of its global beer volume by 2025. The St. Louis, Missouri-based subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose brands include Stella Artois and Budweiser, announced Thursday its Global Smart Drinking Goals initiative, which will first roll out in Columbus, Ohio.
The company plans to “reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10 percent” in Brazil, China, Bolivia, Belgium, Mexico and the U.S. by the end of 2020, according to a press announcement. The City of Columbus and Anheuser-Busch plan on conducting research examining the effects of alcohol in the Ohio city, the results of which will be used to implement programs and marketing campaigns that the company will use toward partnership work with other organizations.
Anheuser-Busch plans on investing a hefty chunk of change to get the job done. The company will shoot to invest at least $1 billion toward the initiative, which will include no-to-low alcoholic beverages across its portfolio of product, marketing campaigns and other programs that will combat unsafe drinking by the end of 2025. Anheuser-Busch has already begun to take the steps toward launching alcohol-free beer. The company’s Budweiser brand debuted an alcohol-free Budweiser Prohibition Brew in Canada in May.
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The company partnered with the City of Columbus and Columbus Public Health to launch the Global Smart Drinking Goals initiative, which promises to fund research the company will use to help create marketing campaigns and programs to further promote safety through three key focus areas — underage drinking, binge drinking and drunk driving.
“Mayor Ginther’s office has really taken a lead in this project along with Columbus Public Health,” Katja Zastrow, vice president for corporate social responsibly & better world at Anheuser-Busch, told International Business Times in a phone interview. “I think one of the things that’s going to be unique about this project is that it’s truly going to be a public-private partnership. We’re involving the whole community, including retailers, wholesalers, and OSU will be involved. So it’s really a broad community effort.”
The Belgium brewer sought to partner with the city as one of its breweries has been based in the city since 1968, according to Zastrow, who said, “we’ve really been a part of the community for a long time.”
Ohio recently struck down a bill that had required that all beer sold and brewed in the state had to have a 12 percent alcohol (by volume) cap. The newly repealed state law went into effect in August.