How to Win at the Shelf after $107 Billion AB InBev – SABMiller Merger?

$107 billion worth merger of two beer giants AB InBev and SABMiller is about to happen. Yet, 63% of mergers do not maintain revenue growth. Can this merger increase sales in USA significantly? How can it win more shoppers at the moment of truth? (planogram optimization) Which products should AB InBev – SABMiller merged company keep? (portfolio evaluation) To answer these questions, EyeSee conducted a virtual shop study (interactive shelf testing).

About the study and methodology

EyeSee’s interactive shelf testing enables creating more accurate predictions than ever before: the correlation score of virtual store sales and sales in actual stores goes up to 0.94 which is much higher than surveys (~0.2). The reasons behind this are realistic shopping environment where products are visually exposed to shoppers to in the same way as in the actual store and high sample sizes that can be achieved.

These EyeSee’s methods made it possible to get relevant insights on how different shelf positioning affects sales, market shares and category growth of AB InBev – SABMiller upcoming merger.

A sample of 900 beer shoppers in the USA was recruited. Three different shelves were defined for testing (300 shoppers tested per each shelf):

  1. Planogram 1: “As is” neutral shelf which is used as base case scenario,
  2. Planogram 2: Shelf where AB InBev’s products are dominant and
  3. Planogram 3: Shelf where MillerCoors is dominant.

eyesee-research-defined-three -planograms-for-testing

The study had a goal of answering how will different shelf positioning of AB InBev – MillerCoors impact the:

  • Combined AB InBev – MillerCoors sales,
  • Amount of AB InBev – MillerCoors’ products on the shelf and
  • Category growth

Note: As AB InBev will likely sell SABMiller’s US business (MillerCoors), the scenario is fictive to illustrate the merger dynamics.


1. Planogram optimization: Pushing AB InBev’s brands increase sales by 2%



Figure 2. Sales growth per company for AB InBev and MillerCoors