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A-B Goes N/A

Sept 5, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch has created a subsidiary focused on non-alcoholic drinks - which will help the brewer escape the rigid laws governing beer sales and tap into locations that don't require liquor licenses.

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For the newly formed 9th Street Beverages, those possibilities extend to health stores, spas, gyms, rental car agencies -- even oil drilling rigs -- basically wherever people are thirsty.

The subsidiary can now have sliding fees to get brands on the shelf and calendar marketing agreements with vendors to deliver products directly to stores, he said.

A-B debuted its first non-alcoholic drink with 180 Orange-Citrus Energy Drink in 2001 and also distributes BORBA Skin Balance Water; Monster, the No. 2 energy drink; and Icelandic Glacial.

Demand has surged: Sales for A-B's the alcohol-free are up 77 percent, prompting executives to explore more beverage options.


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