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Anheuser-Busch yesterday created a subsidiary called 9th Street Beverages, LLC, to expand its non-alcohol business and focus on reaching consumers of energy drinks, high-end waters, and other non-alcohol specialty beverages such as its 180 Energy, BORBA Skin Balance Water, Icelandic Glacial, and Monster drinks.
"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, v.p. and g.m., 9th Street Beverages, who noted that sales for the non-alcohol portfolio is up 77 percent this year. "We have a great strategy and [a new] dedicated sales team."
The creation of 9th Street Beverages allows Anheuser-Busch to establish a clear separation between its beer business and non-alcohol business. The subsidiary will include a formal leadership structure for non-alcohol decision-making as well as a group of sales and marketing personnel focused solely on marketing and expanding distribution of nonalcohol 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," said English. "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 AnheuserBusch markets and distributes in the United States; Monster energy drink, and Icelandic Glacial, both of which are distributed by Anheuser-Busch in the United States. The new subsidiary is also working on several specialty and new age product concepts though details on these new products will not immediately be disclosed for competitive reasons, said Anheuser-Busch. The name, "9th Street Beverages" is a reflection of the subsidiary's and Anheuser-Busch's location in St. Louis.
In addition to English, the subsidiary's leadership includes Brian Belobradic, v.p. 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 network of wholesalers.
Anheuser-Busch brews Budweiser and Bud Light, and owns a 50 percent share in Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao.