AB InBev has decided to transfer production of its premium brand Stella Artois from Belgium to the United States. In a first step, bottling of Stella Artois will be shifted to St. Louis this summer with cans and draught production transitioning before the end of 2021.
In a second step, three more existing Anheuser-Busch (AB) breweries, namely facilities in Los Angeles, Newark and Jacksonville, Fla., will start production of the Belgium beer brand. AB said, it will roll out a major USD 1 billion, two-year domestic investment program across its portfolio and to adjust the plants for the production of the premium beer brand. The company also said the investment is aimed at stimulating the American economy.
The large-scale investment in Stella Artois will “help create and sustain jobs” across the United States, says Brendan Whitworth, Vice President, Northeast Region - Sales & Marketing at AB. In addition, the local production will cut every year more than 7,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from the atmosphere, which is in line with the company’s 2025 Sustainability Goals.
AB InBev employees in Europe fear that the relocation of production will result in job cuts in Belgium. A maximum of 29 jobs are at risk and 58 fixed-term employment contracts in the Liège brewery will most likely not be extended. A total of 760 people are currently employed there.