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For more than 30 years, we have invested in efforts to promote responsible drinking and discourage the harmful use of alcohol, including binge drinking, underage drinking and drink driving. We are deepening our commitment to reduce the harmful use of alcohol with the launch of a new set of Global Smart Drinking Goals to be achieved by end 2025.
Watch our senior leadership team and external experts discuss our Global Smart Drinking Goals and our ambitious plans to promote smart drinking worldwide.
Changing Behaviors Through Social Norms
Achieving our vision of a global culture of smart drinking necessitates a change in consumer behaviors around harmful alcohol use. As the leading global brewer, we believe that we have a key role to play in contributing to this change. With our goals, we are making a deeper investment in evidence-based solutions and programs that measurably shift social norms and behaviors around alcohol use.
Goal: Reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% in six cities by 2020 and implement the best practices globally by end 2025
We are launching multi-year pilots to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by 10% in six cities around the world, as measured against baseline research to be conducted by the end of 2016. These projects will explore collaborative, innovative and effective approaches and identify best practices to implement across all of our markets by end 2025.
Cities will be selected across the following markets (representing our six geographical Zones): China, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and United States, using a set of independently devised eligibility criteria that optimize the potential for program impact. In partnership with experts, governments, law enforcement, NGOs, academics, health professionals, and other key stakeholders, we will support evidence-based strategies to help prevent the harmful use of alcohol as well as test new programs, innovations and technologies.
Building on the learnings identified in the pilot cities, we will identify best practices and develop local implementation plans to be rolled out across all of our markets by end 2025.
Goal: Influence social norms and individual behaviors to reduce harmful alcohol use by investing at least 1 billion USD across our markets in dedicated social marketing campaigns and related programs by end 2025
We are committing to help influence social norms to reduce harmful alcohol use by investing at least 1 billion USD across our markets in dedicated social marketing campaigns and related programs by end 2025. We will work in partnership with experts in social and behavior change communications to design science-based social marketing campaigns and community-based, social norms programs. We will also explore other programs to reduce harmful alcohol use, including those focused on strengthening health literacy in order to positively contribute to behavior change
Empowering Consumers Through Choice
Empowering consumers to make smart drinking choices begins with ensuring that they have access both to No- and Lower-Alcohol options and health information about the products that they are consuming. That’s why we are committed to launching new No- and Lower-alcohol product choices for consumers as well as providing critical health guidance information on all of our product labels.
Goal: Ensure No- or Lower-Alcohol* beer products represent at least 20% of AB InBev’s global beer volume by end 2025
We believe that consumers in all of our markets should have access to No- and Lower-Alcohol products. By end 2025, we will expand our product portfolio to ensure that 1 in 5 beer products are No- or Lower-Alcohol. We will develop and launch new high quality, great tasting No- and Low- Alcohol products and establish them as desirable alternatives for consumers through marketing and education efforts.
In addition, we will monitor the impact on our average alcohol by volume (ABV) annually. We anticipate a reduction of at least 10% by end 2025.
* We define No-Alcohol products as having an ABV between 0.0% and 0.5% and Lower-Alcohol products as having an ABV between 0.51% and 3.5%.
** In 2014, No- and Lower-Alcohol beer products represented less than 9% of our global beer volume.
Alcohol Health Literacy
Goal: Place a Guidance Label on all of our beer products in all of our markets by end 2020 and increase alcohol health literacy by end 2025
For consumers to make smart choices, they need information. We will make critical health information available to all consumers by placing a guidance label* on all of our beer products in all of our markets by end 2020 and significantly increase alcohol health literacy by end 2025. The label will be developed by an independent group of technical experts and may include information about alcohol content, as well as other facts about the product that can help to improve alcohol health literacy and positively shift consumption patterns. By the end of 2025, we will assess our impact by measuring the increase of overall alcohol health literacy.
* The Guidance label will be implemented in those markets where there is not already government mandated labeling in place, and where it is permissible by local regulation.
Evaluating & Tracking Goal Progress (2015-2025)
We know that our Goals will take time and effort. Through partnerships across sectors and with technical guidance from experts, we are confident that we will have a greater impact on reducing harmful alcohol use globally.
We believe that it is essential to create an independent implementation and monitoring & evaluation framework for our Goals that is transparent, credible and delivers results. We will do this by providing grants to fund a global thought leadership and program coordination body made up of independent academic, public health and/or policy institutions.
This body will oversee and coordinate a team of recognized experts and public health leaders. These experts will then select the institutions that will manage global program implementation and monitoring & evaluation over the next 10 years.
These experts will have full independence to directly advise and counsel AB InBev on all aspects of the Global Smart Drinking Goals. This includes full independence to measure and evaluate all of the programs that will be deployed to achieve the Global Smart Drinking Goals 2015-2025.
AB InBev will publicly report on progress of the Global Smart Drinking Goals.
Click here to learn about our previous set of Global Responsible Drinking Goals 2011-2014
Promoting smart drinking is a fundamental part of our dream to be the Best Beer Company Bringing People Together For a Better World.
We brew our premium beers and ciders with pride and are committed to working with government and others to tackle irresponsible consumption.
We promote responsible drinking in the following ways:
1. Investing in alcohol education
In a survey we commissioned from YouGov we found that nearly one in five parents admit to putting off difficult conversations with their children. Those parents who do talk to their children tend to focus their conversations on sex and relationships, internet safety and drug use. Of all the issues, alcohol consumption was given the lowest priority, with only 5% citing it as the most important topic.
However we know that parents have a vital role to play in educating their children about responsible drinking. It is for this reason that we have been supporting the Alcohol Education Trust (AET) in its work helping parents talk to their children about responsible drinking. Since we started working together in 2013, our support has enabled the AET to appoint two parent training coordinators in the North West and North East of England whose role is to provide expert advice directly to parents in schools.
In 2015 we also announced we would provide additional funding which will enable the AET to invest in new interactive technology to enhance the parent sessions and enable the parent coordinators to collect data on parental attitudes.
We have also partnered with the Alcohol Education Trust to help more parents talk to their children about alcohol, using Family Talk as one of their resources. As a result of this partnership, the Alcohol Education Trust has been able to appoint a new training co-ordinator in the North East of England. The co-ordinator will provide expert advice through direct talks to parents in schools, dedicated guidance leaflets and online communications and newsletters.
As part of this work, we partnered with Social Sense to carry out a pilot parental engagement programme in Halton, one of the 20 designated Government Local Alcohol Action Areas. According to the Local Alcohol Profiles England (LAPE) findings, Halton is one of the highest binge drinking areas in the country (256 out of 326) and among the worst for alcohol-related mortality among females (319 out of 326).
The project aimed to equip parents with the tools and motivation to change how they might influence drinking levels among their children, importantly knowing how to talk to their children about alcohol consumption.
The pilot was carried out among parents of year 9 students aged 13-14 at nine schools across Halton, and revealed that the majority of parents (61%) believed that most Halton students drank more than they actually did, with a mere 39% accurately guessing the age groups drinking levels. Almost half (47%) of parents surveyed thought that most teenagers had their first full drink at aged 13 or younger, with 18% of parents guessing age 12. In reality, 93% of the 1264 year 9s surveyed had never, or rarely, dabbled in alcohol.
An encouraging 78% of surveyed parents in Halton said that this project would change how they would talk to their kids about alcohol and that they now understand the importance of their role. A parent involved in the study said they were ‘very surprised’ by levels of alcohol consumption in their child’s year group, and that the pilot programme ‘got [them] thinking about the subject’ of alcohol education.
The pilot findings were also supported by a YouGov study carried out by AB InBev in September 2015, which found that nearly one in five parents with children aged between 12 and 16 admitted that they were likely to put off difficult conversations on topics like alcohol with their children. Parents believed conversations around sex and relationships (24%), internet safety (24%) and drug use (23%) were more important than discussing alcohol.
2. Providing information and training
Our products carry a number of important combination of messages on their labels to promote responsible drinking including unit information, a ‘Please Drink Responsibly’ message pregnancy warning and a ‘don’t drink and drive’ logo
We have also partnered with THINK! to reach thousands of students with our Budweiser “Get Home Safe” programme. This includes handing out water with local taxi numbers on at live Budweiser music events, handing out “Get Home Safe” cards with local taxi numbers on and using social media to promote the “Get Home Safe” message. This builds on the work that Budweiser has been doing to promote the role of designated drivers, with its ‘Celebrate Responsibly’ Christmas jumper campaigns
All of our marketing and communications are approved by both Corporate Affairs and Legal. This includes everything from a new TV advert to packaging to a Tweet or Facebook post. We ensure that everything meets the Portman Group code, and where relevant, a ‘Please Drink Responsibly’ message and Drinkaware logo are included
We have recently launched ‘Tap Into Your Beer’, a website providing consumers with information about our beers. This includes details on ingredients, alcohol by volume, calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein. The website also gives consumers information about responsible drinking and the effects of alcohol consumption, as well as advice about moderation on a night out.
We also know those who serve alcohol have an important role to play in providing information and promoting responsible drinking. For this reason we have launched responsible server training for staff in pubs and bars across the country.
3. Offering choice
Offering consumers choice is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue, the market leading alcohol-free beer. Research we commissioned found that almost half (49%) of British adults believed that alcohol-free beer is more socially acceptable than it was five years ago.
4. Working in partnership
As well as working with the Alcohol Education Trust we are a founder member of the Portman Group, the responsibility body for drinks producers in the UK, and supporters of independent charity Drinkaware, which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm by helping people to make better choices about their drinking.
We are also a signatory to a number of pledges as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal.
AB InBev has signed up to Responsibility Deal pledges including on single-serve containers, unit reduction, supporting responsible marketing and sponsorship practices in the alcohol industry and increasing the amount of information and education available about responsible drinking.