A-B Creates Non-Alcoholic Subsidiary

Anheuser-Busch has established a subsidiary called 9th Street Beverages LLC, which could help the company expand its non-alcohol business, including brands such as 180 Energy, BORBA Skin Balance Water, Icelandic Glacial and Monster.

The new subsidiary will focus on reaching consumers of energy drinks, high-end waters and other non-alcohol specialty beverages.

“With the success of our non-alcohol portfolio and opportunities to continue the momentum, we felt the time was right to bring further focus to this segment of our business,” said David English, vice president and general manager at 9th Street Beverages, also noting that sales performance for the non-alcohol portfolio is up 77% this year. “We have a great strategy and with the addition of a dedicated sales team, we’re excited about the future.”

The creation of 9th Street Beverages allows Anheuser-Busch to establish a clear separation between the beer business and the non-alcohol business. The subsidiary will include a formal leadership structure for non-alcohol decision-making as well as a group of highly skilled sales and marketing personnel focused solely on marketing and expanding distribution of non-¬alcohol products.“Our focus will be on reaching new consumers in accounts where alcohol products are sold as well as accounts where alcohol may not typically have a presence, such as travel and transportation venues and ‘at-work retail’ and specialty accounts such as spas, gyms and health stores,” English said. “We’ll also continue working with licensed retail accounts to identify opportunities to augment the growth of Anheuser-Busch’s beer brands.”

Anheuser-Busch debuted its non-alcohol portfolio with 180 Orange-Citrus Energy Drink in 2001. The company has since expanded the 180 family to include 180 Red with Goji, 180 Blue with Acai, 180 Blue Low-Calorie and 180 Sugar-Free Orange Citrus Blast.

The non-alcohol portfolio also includes BORBA Skin Balance Water, which Anheuser-Busch markets and distributes in the U.S.; Monster, the No. 2 energy drink and Icelandic Glacial, both of which are distributed by Anheuser-Busch in the U.S.

The new subsidiary is also working on several exciting energy, specialty and new-age product concepts though details on these new products won’t be immediately disclosed for competitive reasons.

The name “9th Street Beverages” is a reflection of the subsidiary’s and Anheuser-Busch’s location in St. Louis. It’s also a name that connects with the Anheuser-Busch family of wholesalers, many of which will be selling the non-alcohol portfolio in cities nationwide.

In addition to English, the subsidiary’s leadership includes Brian Belobradic, vice president of sales and Tom Burkemper, director of marketing. English, Belobradic and Burkemper are longtime Anheuser-Busch employees, all having worked in a number of other sales and marketing positions before moving to their current positions with 9th Street Beverages. In addition, sales professionals have been hired in major cities across the country to focus on growing the non-alcohol brand portfolio in alcohol-licensed accounts as well as non-licensed accounts, and with Anheuser-Busch’s family of wholesalers.

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