L.A. Times: Beer Brewers Revise Playbooks to Win Back Lost Customers
From the Los Angeles Times:
Super Bowl Sunday promises to be another epic day in the annals of gluttony, with Americans consuming 1.3 billion chicken wings, 2,000 tons of popcorn and enough avocados to cover the floor of the Indianapolis stadium 28 feet deep.
But there will probably be a bit less beer to wash it all down because of changing tastes and the growing appeal of wine and cocktails as alternatives.
Beer sales have been on the decline in the U.S., with shipments dipping 1.4% last year to 210 million barrels, an eight-year low, according to trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights. Anheuser-Busch, whose brands include Budweiser and Bud Light, slipped below the 100 million-barrel benchmark for the first time in a decade.
Brewers are fighting back, introducing craft beers and other spins on the classic beverage in a bid to recapture straying customers. Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is spending at least $30 million on Super Bowl ads, will devote two of its six game-time spots to one of those products, its new higher-alcohol Bud Light Platinum.
That brew's 6% alcohol content reflects Americans' growing thirst for drinks with more kick and perceived sophistication. Sales of both wine and hard liquor such as vodka, bourbon and whiskey are up 4% or more over the last year, helped in part by images in popular media.
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