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The business of beer (redux)

This time from the Business of Big Beer.

Jeremiah McWilliams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about the possibility AB InBev could damage the Budweiser and Bud Light brands with line extensions, in the latter case Bud Light Lime and now Bud Light Wheat.

. . . critics argue that Anheuser-Busch’s line extensions may encourage once-loyal drinkers to wander away from the company. Line extensions, they say, remind drinkers of the endless variety on the beer menu, and may lead them to try offerings from other brewers.

Consultant David “Bump” Williams, who called the strategy of adding line extensions “a big mistake.”

“You’re now encouraging a loyal Bud Light shopper to try something new,” said Williams. If that drinker likes Bud Light Lime, Anheuser-Busch runs the risk of losing that once-loyal Bud Light shopper to other lime beers from other brewers.

And the next thing you know they are drinking IPAs?

(A bit of disclosure: Brewing with Wheat is due to reach bookshelves at the end of February, so perhaps I would benefit from the millions AB InBev is spending on advertising Bud Light Wheat. So I promise not to start drinking or endorsing it. I do, however, like the 2009 vintage of Michelob Bavarian Style Wheat.)


2 Responses to The business of beer (redux)

  1. Brad November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    The last BL Golden Wheat ad I saw (the Tailgate Tested one) opened by complaining about the taste of wheat. It was unbelievable.

  2. Travis December 2, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    I have always suspected that beers like American Ale and Bud Light Wheat will have dedicated light lager drinkers try craft brews. You know what they say, once you try craft….you never go back. I might be mixing metaphors though

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