Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO on growth within the premium beer market in China

the entire world’s largest brewer isn’t worried about analysts’ calls for a potential slowdown within the Chinese economy.

“China is actually one of those places where if you look at averages, you miss the picture,” Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito told CNBC Thursday on the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum in China.

which’s because AB InBev operates within the high-end of the Chinese beer market, a segment which the company thinks will weather a potential slowdown in growth next year.

“Our brands, our activities, our experiences which we give to consumers are not within the mainstream side of the market. They are within the premium along with super-premium side of the market, along with those segments are growing very nicely,” Brito said.

which strategy of focusing on the high-end of the market appears to be paying off: AB InBev’s revenue in China grew 4.6 percent within the third quarter.

The company cited strong numbers within the Chinese market as a driver for revenue growth in its Budweiser along with Corona brands within the first half of which year. Corona along with Stella Artois, classified as “super premium” brands by the company, have recorded double digit growth since they were launched there in 2014.

which compared with sales within the U.S., where AB InBev’s Budweiser along with Bud Light brands have stumbled as consumers turn to craft along with imported variations.

With the brewer focused on the growing middle class narrative, investments in China have been targeted at the high-end, premium along with super-premium segment, Brito told CNBC, adding which those were growing above the market average.

As for the brewer’s standing among younger consumers, he highlighted the importance of connecting AB InBev’s brands “with occasions where consumers value experiences.”

“What we see around the entire world, along with China’s no different, is actually which younger consumers are looking for experiences more than products,” Brito said. He highlighted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, of which Budweiser is actually a global sponsor, as an important event for the brand.

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