Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK & Ireland arm of AB InBev, has revealed how it rejigged its supply chain to ensure retailers received beer orders quickly at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

The brewing giant implemented three different models to help it keep up with increased demand from supermarkets. This included bypassing depots and sending stock straight from its breweries to stores, delivering up to 90hl of beer at a time.

Budweiser also worked with one customer to deliver beer into three new depots, adding 50% on to their network capacity to “help get beer flowing”.

Meanwhile, in the convenience channel, over 300 Co-op stores were able to have their orders picked and packed by Budweiser and then delivered by Matthew Clark. It was first time the brewer has used an on-trade wholesaler to deliver beer to convenience stores.

The group stated that it would be able to revert to these methods during key busy moments during the year.

James Rowe, Director of Sales Operations, said: “Following the closures of pubs, we knew there would be a higher demand from our consumers in supermarkets and convenience stores for our beers. In order to meet this demand, our Operational Teams came together, redesigning and pivoting our delivery methods to ensure our customers would be able to meet the increased demand.

“In ten working days, the teams developed the capability and delivered over 65,000 hL – the equivalent of around 20 million bottles – through these new models and we are continuing to support today. It’s shown us what great teams can do when we collaborate with our partners and that we can apply these methods in future key consumption moments, such as Christmas and Easter.”

Andrew Everson, Senior Buying Manager at Morrisons, commented: “With the restaurant and pub sector closed, it was important for our customers that we maintained availability. Budweiser Brewing Group turned on Direct To Store delivery in just five days, serving nearly 200 stores. As a result, we maintained our availability on some of our most popular beers.”