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Bud seeks to make lite of its World Cup beer-sales conundrum

By our News Team | 2022

While Budweiser was caught off-guard by a surprise alcohol ban in stadiums, the company is taking a philosophical stance.

International brewing company Budweiser appears to be taking a philosophical approach to an unexpected decision by authorities in the World Cup-host nation Qatar to ban consumption of alcohol in stadiums at the soccer tournament.

After Budweiser – and tournament organisers FIFA – has been led to believe that alcohol sales would be allowed, there was a sudden turnaround just days before the first game kicked off. 

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The Budweiser photo showing unsold crates of beer previously destined for World Cup stadiums. Photo credit: Budweiser via Twitter

While there may well be legal threats and dissenting voices behind the scenes, the beer brand yesterday (Monday) light-heartedly tweeted a photo of a warehouse full of crates of beer that will now presumably remain unsold. 

“New Day, New Tweet. Winning Country gets the Buds,” the company wrote. “Who will get them?” 

Brand also tweeted about ‘awkward’ situation

The latest Tweet might have been a nod to a now-deleted Tweet by Budweiser over the weekend which reportedly said “Well, this is awkward” following FIFA’s announcement that alcoholic beverages would no longer be sold.

Being a Muslim country, Qatar does not normally allow drinking in public. But soccer fans will still be able to purchase alcohol during the FIFA Fan Festival which takes place at night, though there will be restrictions on how much alcohol they will be allowed to purchase.

AB InBev-owned Budweiser, which has been a World Cup sponsor since 1986, was poised to sell its alcoholic beer exclusively within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the stadiums three hours before kickoff and one hour after each game.

“In July, reflecting on information that the stadiums’ stands would be alcohol-free, AB InBev chief executive Michel Doukeris said the tournament would offer a great opportunity to showcase non-alcoholic brands, such as Budweiser Zero,” news agency Reuters reported.

“With a planning window of a few months, rather than two days, AB InBev could have sought to substitute regular Budweiser with its non-alcohol version outside stadiums and indeed might have profited more given the latter’s typically higher margin.”

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