The only way to correct that dilemma, according to Anheuser-Bush executives is to get wholesalers to buy more of their premium beer brands. After all, Anheuser-Bush has a lot of beer brands in its InBev arsenal. But having an extraordinary amount of brands and getting distributors to push them is not going to solve the sales decline issue, according to businessman, investor, and bank president Ricardo Guimarães.
In the old days, there were not a lot of choices in the beer market. The baby boomer generation accounted for most of the sales back then, but the new generation of beer drinkers have more choices. Not only that, beer has more flavor today. The premium beer market is driving the sales increases, and Anheuser-Bush wants distributors to push their premium brands at the expense of the small independent breweries that are in vogue in the beer market now.
Anheuser-Bush introduced a new incentive plan that could put $200,000 a year back in the pockets of distributors that sign up for the plan. Ricardo Guimarães thinks the Anheuser-Bush plan won’t get off the ground, and for good reason.
Ricardo Guimarães is familiar with plans that offer companies money for pushing products at the expense of other companies. Brazilian corporations are accused of payoffs and kickbacks constantly because that is the way business is done in Brazil. Guimarães is the president of BMG Bank, a medium size bank that specializes in the consignment credit industry.
Mr. Guimarães has built a successful soccer sponsorship program, so he knows a lot about soccer as well as the beer drinkers that support their favorite clubs. Ricardo says there is a new consumer in the marketplace that wants companies to play fair, and the Anheuser-Bush is not playing fair if the distributor incentive plan is approved by the Department of Justice.
Anheuser-Bush needs another plan that will stimulate their premium brand sales. That plan shouldn’t involve giving money back for special treatment. AB In Bev brands should cater to consumers that want the best ingredients brewed by beer masters that know what a premium beer should taste like.
Taste, ingredient quality and individuality should be the main focus of a new incentive plan that honors consumers first, and distributors second. Distributors don’t need a reimbursement, they need beer brands that beer drinkers want to buy. That’s how distributors make money.
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