Author Topic: Why does Budweiser just not get it?  (Read 12852 times)

Offline weithman5

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2013, 09:59:00 AM »
i would include that in my list of stand by. 8)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2013, 10:09:33 AM »
it is not just an issue of cost.  at least half the time my wife and i are out i will have a budweiser or last night a Bass Ale. (different then bud but not necessarily craft) it is not because of cost but because i am only going to drink one beer with dinner and many of the offerings otherwise frankly suck.  I know that I will like those. I am not afraid to try something but when i look at the beer list and it is 14 IPAs all of which i have had and have sucked. i will go to a standby.

I completely agree. IMO there's way too much bad, or at least mediocre, uninspired, samey, craft beer in the world. But, IPAs are the fastest growing (up 42%), and largest volume (18.1%) style of craft beer. Sales of Ranger and Torpedo have increased 48% and 52%, respectively. So I don't blame everyone for jumping on that bandwagon.
(http://www.beerinsights.com/index.php?option=com_php&Itemid=17&aid=172620)

Still, spirits, wine and booze soda are growing, beer consumption is declining, especially among young people and women. Craft beer is up, but in 2011, marketshare was 5.7% by volume, and 9.1% in dollars. That means craft beer means selling a small amount of beer for a high price. That's not a trend that can continue growing indefinitely into the future.

Also, for some reason, PBR grew by like 20% last year, so it's not just craft beer that's growing.

And yes, if you couldn't tell, the tackle store is slow this time of year, so I have a lot of free time at work these days.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 10:15:33 AM by nateo »
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2013, 10:34:26 AM »
my busy season with the damn flu.

i still will find a way to make that drive and fish there. :D
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2013, 02:02:26 PM »
Craft beer is like gourmet food.  It has a market and it is small compared to BMC and fast food.  Craft beer and gourmet food may not be for the "masses".  And yes we all prabably do have our heads up our butts. 8)
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2013, 07:45:27 AM »
Also, for some reason, PBR grew by like 20% last year, so it's not just craft beer that's growing.

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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2013, 02:31:41 PM »
I think the point is, they are losing market share to craft breweries and they put out psuedo-craft beer to compete with it but what they end up doing is just diluting their brand with more of the same.

Seems like an accurate summary.

I think their management remains focused on what has worked in the past - marketing, and they're stuck on that.  They might change when they lose more market share, which is inevitable and inexorable, but will undoubtedly be slow.  For the moment though, their corporate executives keep their cushy jobs, huge bonuses, and noon tee-times by making sure the shareholders get dividends, and I don't think they really give a flying rat's ass about what goes out in bottles, as long as it maintains their status quo.

Offline narvin

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2013, 05:10:27 PM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.
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Offline majorvices

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Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2013, 06:51:51 PM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2013, 06:52:34 PM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

Very well said.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2013, 07:07:47 PM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I genuinely think it's a calculated marketing move that has nothing to do with competing with craft brewers.  It doesn't matter if Budweiser makes real craft beer as long as they keep the brand name fresh and seem to embrace the latest trends.  Making something too strong or different risks alienating their customers. Or worse, changing their tastes to truly appreciate diverse and flavorful beer.

Instead, by marketing bud with flavor extracts and food coloring they can keep the taste close enough to maintain "brand identity" while seeming hip to the current trends.  In fact, they don't even have to sell a single bottle: as long as the idea is out there that Budweiser is the "King of Beers", it gives their whole portfolio cachet that attracts light lager drinkers even if they have no intention of drinking anything else.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 07:26:19 PM by narvin »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2013, 10:36:37 PM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.
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Offline majorvices

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Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2013, 06:25:47 AM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.

Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2013, 07:08:10 AM »


Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?
Why try to compete, when you can just bury the competition?
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2013, 08:41:37 AM »
They get it - they're an enormous public company based around mass production and have maximized profit every way they can.  Their opportunities for growth -- that's all shareholders care about -- are in mergers and global expansion, not high cost/low margin craft brewing.  The current interest in "artisinal" beer is going to have as much effect on the InBev bottom line as farm to table restaurants do on McDonalds.

If that was the case I don't understand why they try to push psuedo-craft beers out there. It's obvious to compete with the craft beer market.

I'd say it's a lot less to compete with craft beer in its own market as it is to keep shelf/tap space and capture the uninitiated. By having an "IPA" like the Shock Top IPA they can go to bars and convince them to give up taps from craft IPAs to sell their own versions. The reps go into a bar and see an IPA and offer a cut rate deal to replace it with the Henry Weinhard IPA. How many sports bars/dive bars/Chili's really know the difference or care what the difference is? Similarly, they can put those products on the shelves along with the craft beers and crowd out some of the craft space. Plus, when you put those two together and people go looking for a "craft beer" they will remember seeing the Shock Top IPA at the bar and pick it up at the store.

The pseudo-craft stuff isn't so far removed that people dabbling in craft beer trying them will be scared away from craft but neither are the likely to run towards it. It's middle of the road stuff that really competes against other gateway craft beers. That's the bigger market in craft beer. The top craft brands all sell a beer that easily works as a gateway beer to craft (SNPA, SA Boston Lager, Fat Tire). It's tremendously larger than the market for 14% barleywine aged in 15 types of barrels with dog balls. There are lots of people who will drink the gateway beers (and I don't mean to suggest anything is wrong with drinking those beers) but don't move further into craft. So it's a larger market that they can play to their strengths.

The large brewers have enormous resources, knowledge and experienced brewers. They could make the very best craft beers in the world if they chose to invade that market. It's just not their path.

Now, this is totally true. I can assure you. But it goes straight back to the point - why don't they just make a decent beer to compete with craft. Again, craft beer's market share is growing, BMC is shrinking. Why go about making a Bud Black Crown if it just waters down the rest of your bramnd. Why not make a beer that actually competes with craft beer?

For the same reason McDonald's doesn't make an organic sirloin burger, Coke doesn't make craft sodas, Ikea doesn't make handcrafted furniture, etc. However, they will buy up other companies that do. They can keep disparate portfolios of profitable businesses.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Why does Budweiser just not get it?
« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2013, 10:16:12 AM »
In the end, I don't believe that the BMCs of the world are really competing with the small brewers.  They don't need to.

There are so many small wannabe brewers jumping on the bandwagon these days  that the small brewers are really competing mainly amongst themselves... and as nateo seems to suggest, I think that they are doing so with some good products, but also quite a few uninspired or downright lousy products (It's the main reason that when I buy "craft" beer it is rarely a full sixpack, especially if I'm trying something new). 
If it weren't for my local store offering single bottles of just  about anything in stock, I probably wouldn't be buying it at all (especially at the crazy prices that are becoming so prevalent).

Further, I don't even think that the special products being rolled out by the BMCs should be called "faux craft" or "pseudo craft".  Some of them are quite good, and in fact in a few instances they're better than a some of the "boutique" stuff out there. 

With regard to the subject line of this thread, I think that  Budweiser (ie., AB-InBev) "gets it" perfectly well.
I'm betting that we'll be seeing some significantly bolder offerings from the bigs in the coming few years.  Tastes are changing, slowly but surely.  Light "American Lager" won't be going away, but recognizing the growth (albeit slow growth) of the specialty beer category, they will definitely be upping their game.
If the change means more good beer, and more variety, that's a good thing.  When they do finally roll out  some significantly enhanced products, their main problem will be convincing a segment  of beer lovers who value snob  appeal as much as they like good beer.
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