Even the brewing industry is starting to go flat in the worldwide economic slump. SABMiller PLC, the London-based brewer of Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft and Peroni Nastro Azzurro lagers, said on Thursday its beer shipments fell unexpectedly in the third quarter as consumers pulled back on their demand.
Whole Foods has put about 50 such tap rooms, featuring exclusively craft beers (and sometimes wine), deep inside its stores nationwide.
In another sign that big brewers are starting to think small, Anheuser-Busch InBev is launching a series of Budweiser-branded brews named for the zip codes where they were created. Called "Project 12," the effort began when brewmasters at 12 AB InBev breweries created their own small-batch "tribute" beers, each with a distinct style.
The days of holding up two fingers to a bartender and getting a couple of glasses filled with generic beer from a tap are long gone. Instead, today’s pub-goers select their frosty-cold beverage from a long row of branded taps and receive their suds in a glass emblazoned with the particular logo. This is not your grandfather’s glass of draught.
Executives usually don’t badmouth their former companies, but the ones that are no longer with Pabst Blue Ribbon after it was sold last year to billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos and his two sons don’t mince words. “If our core PBR drinker knew that what they were drinking is owned by guys like these, it's the last beer they'd want to drink,” stated the former director of marketing to the Chicago Tribune.
Denmark’s Carlsberg beer recently launched a major brand makeover that includes a revamped bottle design and a new tagline. But now Carlsberg is being accused of plagiarizing its new slogan, “That calls for a Carlsberg,” from Budweiser’s 2001 tagline, “This calls for a Bud Light,” the Copenhagen Post reports.
First, Diet Coke beats Pepsi. Now, Coors Light is close to dethroning Budweiser as the nation's best-selling brew behind Bud Light.
Anyone care for a Buck Range Light or a Big Flats? Few beer drinkers have heard that question. But the new brands from retail giants Supervalu Inc. and Walgreen Co. are part of a growing effort by chain stores to make a hit of private-label beer, a category that has proved difficult for retailers.
Giving new meaning to the words: cheap beer, Walgreens has rolled out its own brand called Big Flats 1901, a private-label brew. Though the name might not be the most enticing, the price tag is, retailing at 50 cents per can, with a six-pack setting you back just $2.99. Of course, prices will vary according to each market, and the beer will only be sold in states where private-label alcohol is legally allowed.
As MillerCoors ramps up its new craft and import division, it won't be running a torrent of TV ads or putting up a flashy new website. Rather, the brewer is doing something a little more basic -- sending its workers back to beer school.
To celebrate and promote the launch of the special edition Stella Artois Black, the brand has launched a series of immersive theatre productions named ‘The Night Chauffeur.’
Coors, which has goosed sales over the last few years with various packaging gimmicks, is introducing a new one: Coors Light Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint. The 16 oz. product, which showcases a picture of the brand's Rocky Mountain imagery on the can when it hits the proper temperature, makes its official debut on Sept. 1. Coors will back the launch with a cause marketing pitch dubbed "Pass the Pint for Charity," benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater new Orleans and Acadiana.
Crack open a beer this summer. Please. The $100 billion U.S. brewing industry is staggering into its crucial selling season from its weakest position in years. Sales for 11 of the biggest brands fell in the four weeks ended May 16, according to SymphonyIRI, and only four of the top 30 -- Keystone Light, Modelo Especial, Yuengling and Pabst Blue Ribbon -- posted gains. Meanwhile, despite massive measured-media support, category titans Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite all declined.
PBR can trace its success directly to its failure. It started the 2000s as a has-been brand name, so pointless and uncool that it was perfectly poised to become cool when it was touched by the dark, abstract magic that drives consumer trends. No schmarty-pants marketer can take credit for architecting the Phoenix-like rise that followed; the brand was owned by a charitable trust that knows about as much about consumer tastes as you'd expect a charitable trust to know. It didn't hurt that PBR was the beer of choice for the wacky Dennis Hopper character in the movie "Blue Velvet" but the brand's revival was pretty much organic, from what I can tell.
Investor C. Dean Metropoulos made a fortune building well-known consumer brands including Bumble Bee Tuna and Vlasic Pickles. Now, he is looking to wash them down with a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Mr. Metropoulos, a 64-year-old executive known for invigorating brands, has reached an agreement to buy Pabst Brewing Co. from the charitable foundation that owns the company for about $250 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Although little known outside of food circles, he earned a fortune managing brands such as Chef Boyardee, Duncan Hines and Ghirardelli Chocolates. With Pabst, Mr. Metropoulos is showing his deal-making skills.
I'm not going to make much of the new 7-Eleven "Game Day" beer name. Instead, I'm going to focus on what it means that 7-Eleven has a private label beer at all. Simply put, this is a watershed moment in private label branding - which 7-Eleven excels at - and in branding in general. There can be no doubt that private label branding has reached a tipping point when 7-Eleven, of all places, has its own beer brand.
Guinness' brand strength it that it is associated with a single, core product. This is the case with most great beer brands around the world. The challenge for the brand's owner, Diegeo, is that a lot of young blokes (and some older ones like me) just don't like the product. Its dark, black, bitter and has a highly distinctive creamy head. Almost food-like Some people love it. Others hate it.
MillerCoors' new "craft" beer is so small that it can talk to its drinkers individually. Colorado Native Lager, which launches this week, comes from the No. 2 U.S. brewer's A.C. Golden Brewing Co. unit, which brews craft-style beers in small quantities and markets them exclusively through digital and word-of-mouth channels. The marketer says the brand is brewed from "99.9%" Colorado-grown ingredients, a percentage that includes the locally made glass bottles. It will be sold only in Colorado, at least at first. With Colorado Native Lager, A.C. Golden is using the model that worked for MillerCoors' Blue Moon: seeding the brand through word-of-mouth and letting consumers feel as if they "discovered" the beer for themselves, which encourages them to introduce friends to it. To do so, it's putting the entirety of its tiny Colorado Native budget into mobile and social-media channels.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager marketer Boston Beer Co. is pushing an unusual selling point in new ads: Its own insignificance. In a spot titled "Growing Up Small" from the brewery's longtime agency, Octopus, it sets out to dispel the notion that it accounts for a significant portion of U.S. beer sales, asking drinkers in a series of documentary-style interviews how big they think Sam Adams' share is. Twenty-five percent, guesses one. Huge, says another. At that point, the brand's actual market share flashes across the screen: 0.9%.
The customers at the Zamisa Tavern in Durban receive every encouragement to drink the products of SABMiller, the international brewer that has dominated South Africa's beer market for decades. Castle and Black Label lagers are relatively cheap. Publicity for Castle beer festoons the walls of the bar, in Umlazi, a township. And anyone driving up to the bar from the centre of Durban cannot fail to notice a huge roadside advert warning drinkers "to beware of the little green bottles". This is a not-so-subtle reference to the more expensive premium brews offered by SAB's Dutch rival, Heineken
Steel Partners, the US hedge fund , suffered another setback in its campaign to reform Japanese companies after Sapporo shareholders rejected its proposal to replace most of the directors. At Sapporo's annual meeting yesterday, Steel Partners failed to shake up the board when only about 30 per cent of voting shareholders supported its proposed move. The activist fund headed by Warren Lichtenstein has been struggling to push reform at the group since 2004, when it first invested in the company. The defeat underscores how difficult it can be to change corporate Japan, where investors often hold stakes in companies for reasons other than direct financial return.
Heineken USA's sales dipped nearly 11% last year, a reflection of a difficult economic climate for pricey imports as well as erratic and ineffective marketing on its flagship lager brand. The No. 2 importer's total sales declined 10.7%, worse than the 9.8% drop for the total imported beer segment as well as the 6.8% decline posted by its chief rival, Corona marketer Crown Imports.
While private label still represents a small piece of retail wine and spirits volume, its growth rates are considerably outpacing those of national brands, confirms the latest data from The Nielsen Company. The wine/spirits private-label growth trend was one of many highlighted by Nielsen beverage alcohol VPs/group client directors Danny Brager and Nick Lake in a Feb. 5 Webinar focused on how economy-driven factors are affecting off- and on-premise sales of beer, wine and spirits.
Does $3 million for one 30-second spot sound like a lot of money to promote your brand during this year’s Super Bowl? Well, if you cram two of your products into one ad, like Diamond Foods is planning, then it’s only $1.5 million per brand.
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, there will still be a good amount of holiday cheer in the coming months. American consumers are still looking to purchase beer, wine and spirits, and are more likely to seek value and entertain in the home compared to years past, according to the latest Nielsen data. The alcoholic beverage category has proven to be resilient, but not recession proof. Sales were up slightly, at 2 percent, for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 5 compared to the year prior. Wine saw the biggest spike at 5.1 percent followed by spirits (2 percent) and beer (0.7 percent).
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a recession juggernaut, but not just because it's cheap. Sales of PBR are up an astounding 25% this year, according to Information Resources Inc. And while cheaper beers -- a group within which PBR has long been something of a mascot -- are outperforming their more expensive peers as consumers look for low-cost options these days, there's clearly more than pricing at work here.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is the latest marketer in China to invite consumers to create an ad campaign, but the brewer has one rule: The commercial must feature ants. The U.S. beer giant is partnering with Tudou.com, a Chinese video-sharing site like YouTube, in a contest that lets consumers pitch ideas for a Bud TV spot that will run during the Chinese New Year in February 2010.
Hat's off to Bob Garfield who today takes issue with the gender stereotyping in beer advertising: [Men] are die cut and stamped, tumbling off the conveyor into the Man Hopper, programmed to drink beer, watch football, barbecue meat and fall asleep moments after forgetting she has needs, too. We are all, in short, Adam Carrola. But hold on just one second. Adam Carrola's a dick.
Two hot-selling new beverages have come under scrutiny by state attorneys general concerned that the drinks' alcohol-and-caffeine content is a dangerous mix and may be designed to appeal to underage drinkers.
"He lives vicariously through himself." "The police often question him just because they find him interesting." And he can drive an expensive imported beer brand to double-digit sales gains during a recession that's forced many of its competitors into steep declines.
How many brands can revive a TV commercial that last aired nearly two decades ago--and not in a nostalgic or camp way? Not many.
Coors Light has enjoyed fourteen consecutive quarters of sales growth but back in 2003 that brand was tanking. What turned it around so dramatically? On the surface it appeared to be a simple new marketing strategy focused on the refreshing nature of cold beer. But what really drove the success was a disciplined approach to the management of creative ideas and insights inside the company.
Twitter users who opt to follow the online musings of Anheuser-Busch's Michelob may be surprised to receive a quick direct-message inquiry from the beer brand asking if they're of legal drinking age.
Dos Equis beer has launched an "Expedition Cinco" tour of 14 key markets around the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
Fosters in Australia teamed up with the Taboo Group to create a beer based on the tastes of thousands of creative minds (and their tongues). Nelson beer has been brewed in Melbourne and is the product of user feedback. They held gatherings and parties and then gathered feedback from almost a thousand “creative types” regarding the look, taste, and possible names for the beer.
A few years ago I set off with a bunch of friends to follow England's cricket tour of Sri Lanka. The beautiful hill town of Kandy promised to be a spectacular location for the first Test, but it was not the scenery that grabbed our attention when we arrived. Sri Lankan newspapers were warning of an illegal brewing scam, in which bandits were manufacturing their own moonshine, refilling empty bottles of beer and spirits and then reselling it back into regular channels. Unfortunately, the booze was not just illegal - it was dangerous. Several local people had been blinded after drinking it.
Warm beer in airport restaurants resembling barns has, no doubt, caused many of us to wonder where air travel's glamour got to. Helping revive the notion of classy business travel, Heineken has teamed up with design agency UXUS to create an airport lounge offers a respite from the chaos of the terminal gate.
Soon enough, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will make more than just tasty beer--it will also manufacture high-grade ethanol fuel from leftover beer yeast. The company announced today that it is partnering with E-Fuel--the inventor of the world's first home ethanol machine--to test portable ethanol refineries at its Chico, California brewery.