Featured: Diversify Your Labor Sources to Keep Up With the Holiday Hospitality Rush and Avoid Shortages

anheuser busch

Photo Rob Kim/Getty Photos – Josh Ostrovsky with the Babe mascot.

The world’s biggest brewer is betting on a wine brand that made its name on social media.

Anheuser-Busch, searching for growth as consumers turn away from mass-produced beer brands like Budweiser and Bud Light, is taking full control of Babe Wine, which was co-founded by Instagram influencer Josh Ostrovsky, known by his handle “The Fat Jewish.”

The company, then called Swish Beverages, first launched “White Girl Rosé” in 2015 and now generates more than 95% of its revenue from Babe Wine, which is sold in cans. Canned wine has become a popular option in the U.S. with coastal millennials, particularly in the summer months, often replacing six-packs of beer at picnics and pool parties.

Anheuser-Busch has a limited presence outside of the beer market and first took a minority stake in the winemaker last year. The company did not disclose financial details for the investment, which came through its ZX Ventures unit, which is focused on small brands outside the core beer business.

With Babe, Anheuser-Busch is acquiring a brand that resonates with younger consumers on social media. The beermaker is betting it can drive sales with increased distribution in a category with a dearth of name brands.

“It’s a really staid category,” said Brendan Whitworth, Anheuser-Busch’s chief sales officer in the U.S. “We think this is the right time to capitalize on what’s going on in canned wine space and wine in general.”

Americans drank less alcohol in 2018 for the third straight year, with beer driving the declines. Wine and spirits, meanwhile, picked up market share. Rosé is a small part of the overall market, but consumption gained 8.2% in the U.S. last year, alcohol industry researcher IWSR said.

Ostrovsky and co-founders David Oliver Cohen and Tanner Cohen always intended to go after the canned wine market, but initially launched their rosé in bottles in a bid to get the name out there. Ostrovsky, who built his brand on social media and has more than 10 million followers, knew that rosé was popular on Instagram and realized after a shortage in the Hamptons in 2014 that there was an opportunity to create a photograph-able brand that would be a hit with younger drinkers.

“We knew they were the No. 1 group drinking wine, but they couldn’t cite a brand,” Ostrovsky said in an interview. “We wanted to be the Bud Light of wine.”

Article Credited to: Craig Giammona, Bloomberg

Read More From Fintech

There is a shortage of truck drivers affecting the commercial transportation industry, and it is projected to get worse before it gets better. According to a recent study conducted by the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT), over 80,000 drivers are needed to address the current gap. By 2030,

Erik Schaeffer (Manager, Regulatory Affairs) contributed to this blog. Today marks 90 years since the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and paving the way for the modern three-tier system and alcohol regulatory framework. The end of Prohibition allowed states to begin adopting their own laws

Efficiency in alcohol invoice payments is the cornerstone of a well-operating business in the beverage industry. As the landscape evolves, embracing streamlined payment processes becomes essential for businesses to ensure smooth operations. Utilizing electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment methods like Fintech’s PaymentSource® allows alcohol businesses to optimize accounts

Brothers Glenn and Gary Sutch opened Coco’s Crush Bar in Clearwater Beach after more than 30 years in the hospitality and entertainment industries. Home of the Orange Crush, Coco’s has made waves in the area with a fantastic seafood menu, live music, and signature-crafted cocktails. They have expanded

Ready to learn more?
Fill out the form below to request more information.