Anheuser-Busch InBev is weighing whether to expand distribution of Bud Light Apple beyond a lone U.S. test market in Georgia, a company spokesman said this week.
The company recently filed with federal regulators to update its labels for the beer, listing each of its 12 U.S. breweries in its application, raising the possibility of an expansion. ABI, however, says Bud Light Apple is not a candidate to be rolled out nationally and that it is “still determining whether it will expand to other markets beyond Georgia in 2018.”
The filing’s purpose, says Miles Ritenour, a Bud Light spokesman, was “to match our current Bud Light core brand packaging.”
Bud Light Apple, an apple-flavored beer the company launched in Georgia in November 2015 and also sells in Canada, has steadily declined in U.S. sales and volume after its peak in the first quarter of 2016, according to Nielsen data. Dollar sales of the beer fell 75.8 percent in the second quarter, while volume shrank 76.4 percent, the data show.
ABI has positioned the beer in the “super premium” segment, alongside fellow fruit-flavored beer Bud Light Lime. It's unclear how the company may position the brand should it choose to expand into other markets. In Georgia the beer is priced just below MillerCoors' apple-flavored beer, Redd's Apple Ale.
Bud also markets another apple-flavored beer, Best Damn Apple Ale, though its sales also have dropped. The beer is down 73.6 percent in dollars on a 75.7 percent decline in volume year-to-date through Sept. 2, according to Nielsen.