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Anheuser-Busch Comments on Package Reform & Chain Store Sales

July 15, 2009


At the recent MBDA convention, the distributors were addressed by Jerry Mullane, VP, State Affairs East Region, Anheusser-Busch, Inc. Among other comments, more fully reported in the most recent MBDA Newsletter, Mr. Mullane laid out A-B's position concerning package reform and beer sales by chain stores. With regard to package reform, legislators approached A-B seeking support for beer package legislation as a result of the state's more aggressive position on the Wine & Spirits Shoppes. A-B believed 6, 12, 18 and 20 packs would benefit everyone, was responsive to consumer demand, advantageous to A-B brands, and supported the proposed changes. However, A-B now sees that the issue is too divisive, with taverns, beer wholesalers and small brewers each having their own concerns. When agreement can't be reached, it's time to move on and re-focus on other issues, which is A-B's intention. Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) was told A-B has no interest in package reform and was asked to reach-out to his con-chairman, Sen. Sean Logan (D-Allegheny), to convey that message to him. A-B will not engage actively in this debate. As regards beer sales in chain stores or convenience stores, A-B has taken no position on it, or lobbied in favor of it, and remains completely neutral on the issue. Mr. Mullane's comments were prompted by his belief that A-B's position on certain industry issues had been misrepresented, and he wanted to set the record straight.

 
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