Stella Artois to expand Connoisseurs Programme

stella artois chaliceAB InBev UK has announced plans to double the number of outlets participating in its Stella Artois Connoisseurs Programme after reporting a successful first year.

More than 1,000 on-trade outlets and over 5,000 staff have benefited from the programme which helps bartenders to enhance their skills and be trained in the art of delivering a perfectly poured chalice of Stella Artois.

Since the programme’s launch in February this year, Stella Artois sales have increased by about 10% in participating outlets.

AB InBev UK reports that the initiative has also contributed to a 4.2% year-on-year increase in UK volumes for the three months to 30 September and has also helped to increase brand equity.

The programme sees an ambassador visit each outlet to support the training and communications for staff. There is also access to a website giving results and programme updates as well as financial incentives.

The programme has also seen 200,000 Stella Artois chalices distributed within the UK on-trade, accompanied by other bar materials including branded skimmers, cups and drip trays.

Andy Logan, Stella Artois marketing manager, said: “We are delighted with the support we have received from the on-trade, with the uplift in sales confirming our belief that this is the right approach.

“We hope to build on this success in 2014 as the demand for perfectly served chalices of Stella Artois continues among consumers. The Stella Artois Connoisseurs Programme reflects our commitment and appreciation for genuine quality.”

Mark Simmonite, manager at Henry’s in Sheffield, says: “We’ve experienced a noticeable sales uplift in Stella Artois since joining the Stella Artois Connoisseurs Programme, and witnessed an improvement in staff performance and motivation which is a clear testament to the incentives available.

“Not only has the programme’s bespoke training built on my staff’s existing skills, it has also changed consumer perception towards how Stella Artois should be served.”

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