Monday, November 14, 2011

Huh? Wha?

I've decide to keep running with the American adjunct lager theme a bit longer. Whereas my last post was about the greatness of the American adjunct, "heritage" lager, this one is about the exact opposite—shitty American macro lager. You've gotta take the good with the bad, and this one involves the baddest of them all. This past Wednesday, ABInBev announced Bud Light Platinum. I first saw this mid-week on Lew Bryson's blog, Seen Through a Glass, but it keeps popping up in my Google News stories, too—so I delved a little deeper. Available next year, the newest member of the Bud Light family will boast a 6% ABV and, according to an AB InBev spokesperson, it “appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions.”

To which I repeat, "Huh? Wha?"

It's blue, so it has to be good.
First off, 6% and 137 calories, does not a light beer make. Secondly, "...expands consumer occasions,” is garbley gook. That dude could have said "appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands purple unicorn farts..." and it would have made just as much sense.

I've heard some scuttlebutt that this is ABInBev's attempt to break into the upstart craft beer market or that this is going to be a tequila-flavored, light beer alternative—personally I think the later is more likely. I understand that the big boys have taken a hit in the last year or two and craft beer is gaining in the market, but what I don't get is—why compete with yourself? Bud Light came out in 1982 and immediately robbed market share from the original Budweiser. Okay, I can live with that, light beers were the thing and a shit ton were coming on the market in the early eighties—fair enough. Now however, you've got Budweiser Select, Budweiser Select 55, Bud Light Lime, Bud Light Golden Wheat, and now Bud Light Platinum—All "light" beers. Each one of these "styles" is stealing market share from each other—how do you sustain that? No wonder why sales slipped in 2010.

Does any of this smack of the American car industry, say, back in 2005—those heady days of shitty products and over extending? ABInBev can tell us that Bud Light Platinum will expand consumer occasions, whatever that means, but who are they trying to fool, us or themselves?


  1. Mate, this reminds me of that Simposon's gag when Homer and Barney are visiting Duff....

  2. This is why i don't drink crap light beer to begin with

  3. Chris - The big boys think somebody is drinking it. That's why there are something like 15 to 20 light beer brands made by the big American brewers alone.

  4. Allow me to correct that, the big boys don't think somebody is drinking it, they know a lot of somebodies are drinking it. Last time I checked, Bud Light was the best selling beer in the US.

  5. In 2007 GM led global automotive sales for 77 consecutive years—2008, not so much. Long since the days of "too big to fail"—in any industry.

    The big boys were down 1%, in the U.S., last year. Dosen't sound like a lot, but I guarantee there are some sweaty brows and some scrambling going on. I think were going to hear some surprising news about the state of big beer in the next few months and years.