Barfly works closely with Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG) across a number of workstreams, and most recently were invited to support BBG’s pitch to Wetherspoons to become their largest beer supplier, ousting their key rival Heineken in the process. Wetherspoons’ decision was going to be based mainly on the performance of draught Budweiser during a four-week trial in 39 pubs across the UK estate.
Barfly’s brief was a simple but challenging one – be the street-level eyes and ears in all of the trial venues, and support the managers of those pubs to ensure they had everything they needed to give Budweiser the greatest chance of success. A series of initial mystery compliance checks by the Barflyer teams identified those venues where the key issues were, and following a series of face-to-face discussions with the managers and their staff, waves of additional support were provided to ensure Budweiser was front of mind in all pilot pubs. On top of the trade package, Barfly also interviewed Wetherspoons consumers to find out how Budweiser’s introduction to the draught line-up was being received and what POS and activation was necessary to maximise rate of sale. Barfly fed back headlines from the front line every week, both on how the trial was playing out but also advice on how to improve performance – these recommendations proved critical in delivering buoyant sales throughout the four-week period as well as providing valuable insight on how best to activate these brands in Wetherspoons moving forward.
In December, Wetherspoons announced to the UK and drinks industry media that it had signed a staggering twenty-year deal with BBG to stock Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Bud Light and Leffe across their entire estate of 851 sites. The multi-million pound deal created huge news, with Barfly being heralded internally as playing a critical role in securing the deal: “Your work was pivotal. Wetherspoons would not have made the decision to go with Budweiser on draught as part of the line-up without your help. In fact, it was so successful, Wetherspoons were insistent on having it in!” BBG National Account Manager
Since the Wetherspoons deal was closed, Barfly has now successfully supported BBG on numerous similar trials with the likes of Whitbread and Hollywood Bowl, all structured to oust competitor agreements.