Bud Light Platinum Coming to a Store Near You

By Jim Cohen | November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments |
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Big beer is slipping. While overall beer volumes in the US have shrunk by 1%, the craft beer movement has erupted. The growing interest microbreweries and beer gardens has led to double digit growth over the past several years (~11% in 2010). Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is trying to combat the rapidly competitive marketplace by introducing a new brand: Bud Light Platinum.

So, what exactly is Bud Light Platinum? It’s not just a new marketing push to attract more sales, but rather Anheuser-Busch is trying to capture part of the craft beer movement with its flagship brand. While Bud Light is a 4.2% ABV beer with 105 calories, and Budweiser is a 5.0% ABV beer with 145 calories – Bud Light Platinum will be a 6.0% ABV beer with 137 calories.

If you are wondering how it may taste – so are we. The brewery would not comment on how the beer would taste, but there are many speculators. Potentially, the beer would be more full-bodied than Bud Light and compete with other craft brands out there as consumers are trending towards similar beers.

Last year, Bud Light spun out several brands to try and capture some of the craft beer segment, including: Bud Light Golden Wheat and Bud Light Lime. Similarly, the success of Bud Light Platinum may be contingent on Anheuser-Busch’s ability to spin the beer as a premium brand.

While Bud Light is still the top selling brand in the US, we wonder how this new brand will compare. There is a risk for Anheuser-Busch that they will continue to cannibalize their existing sales and dilute the overall brand of Bud Light (this is their third attempt to expand the brand). Consumers may decide that they prefer platinum to Bud Light – but in 10 years, who will know what the original is?

Certainly, Bud Light is a strong brand and any product that Anheuser-Busch pushes to market is generally successful. It seems though that the brewery is struggling to find its grasp on the ever changing beer landscape. After acquisitions like Goose Island earlier this year, the brewery is struggling to keep its steady cash flow. For example, Bud Light’s volume has decrease 3.2% over the past quarter so the brewery had to increase prices be 3% just to stay level.

What do you think? Will Anheuser-Busch be successful with this new brand or is it a hopeless attempt to capture a market that they simply won’t be able to make any headway in?

Your Choice. Your Beer. Drink Up.
- Beer Universe

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