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How Anheuser-Busch InBev is recycling ‘high-quality protein’ from beer brewing

In this article:
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Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to explain the latest innovations in beer brewing.

Video Transcript

- I want to ask you a little bit about what they're looking for specifically when it comes to the P&L and the balance sheet-- how the business is running. Margins are so important right now with supply chain and pressure there. What did they want to hear? And what did you tell them about that?

MICHEL DOUKERIS: Yeah, I think that again, if you look at our company, over the long term, it's a great value creation story in which we delivered incredible results. Our strategy was very focused and very simple, repeatable, focused on inorganic growth. And we are now transitioning, evolving this strategy to be more a organic driven growth story.

And this is only possible because some of the competitive advantages that we built over the years, they now come together on what I call like the ABI ecosystem. And that's interesting because, over the years, we put operations together in 50 countries. We sell our beers in 200 countries. We have more than 20,000 farmers, six million customers globally, $2 billion consumers.

And sometimes, in building this puzzle, putting together the company, I think that we are very focused on the synergies of the beer category. And we didn't realize how much value still exists in the ecosystem that can be unlocked with things that we are already doing. Right, and just think about it, we have 10 million transactions per week with our customers. 10 million. So each day, that is $1.4 million transactions that happen between a customer and ABI point of sales.

So when you think about that, those are opportunities that we have one, to grow the beer category. Two, to expand our business beyond beer. And three, as we digitize our touchpoints, today, more than 50% of our sales are somehow digitalized. We can have a lot of data that will allow us to create more value from this ecosystem.

Think on the other side. This is downstream. Think upstream. We have 20,000 farmers. We are the largest buyer and fermenter of malt globally. Up until today, a few years ago, what we'll do is take this barley, malt it, ferment, and produce beer.

In the fermentation process, the yeast takes all the starch, all the carbohydrates from the barley and leaves the grain that is very rich in protein and fibers as a byproduct. These byproducts we were either given away or selling at very low cost for people that put together food for cattle or other animals.

Through technology, especially like biotech technology, we were able to do a separation with the fiber and the protein. And now, we have an amazing amount of protein that is very high-quality protein without any carbohydrates to that, that we can upsell. We can transform in products that go through bread production, pasta production, disenhanced milks with protein, and a lot of other possibilities they open by the same resources that we are using before. But now, using technology to transform this in higher value.