20090613

Bud Light adding Golden Wheat version

First it was Bud Light.

Then, last year, it was Bud Light Lime.

Now, it's Bud Light Golden Wheat. At least it will be the week of October 5 when Anheuser-Busch sends the latest version of its big-selling brew to market.

The move to the wheat category can be seen as a response to the increase in the number of them from craft brewers around the country. Bud Light Golden Wheat uses unfiltered wheat, orange and coriander to give it a different flavor.

The new beer has a few more calories and carbohydrates than Bud Light: 118 calories compared to 110, and 8.3 grams of carbs compared to 6.6 grams. It has slightly less alcohol at 4.1% by volume, compared with Bud Light's 4.2%.

Keith Levy, vice president of marketing, said in a stement: "We're trying to keep it in the franchise of Bud Light, but certainly give it its own look. We're not trying to out-craft craft. Certainly it's the personality of Bud Light, but in a very different way."

Levy said the company is working on its advertising for Bud Light Golden Wheat and said it expects to spend about the same as it spent last year on Bud Light Lime's launch — about $30 million.

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8 comments:

Iknowtruthismine said...

Light beer (using the term beer in its loosest term) is a crime against nature, and because it is so cheap to produce a rip-off of the consumer who has been conned by advertising into buying the crap.

The flavored varieties are just more of the same. Why do you pretty much see only these "light" products advertised anymore rather than the already watery regular beers Americans used to drink?

It takes less ingredients to make, less time tying up the vats (quicker turnover times), sells for the same price and the consumer has to drink more of it to reach the desired level of satisfaction, which sounds like a win-win for the producers and a money suck on the wallet of the consumer.

The classic definition of a con.

Flip Side said...

Such vitriol! It's OK to have an opinion, but you may want to take into account yours could be viewed as a minority view, given the millions of bottles of such beer sold in this country every year. Obviously, a lot of people like it.

Bob Skilnik said...

The #1 selling beer in the U.S. is Bud Light. So, are half of the beer drinkers in this country being "conned"?

As for " ... drink more of it to reach the desired level of satisfaction ...," you must be referring to becoming drunk. Is that the purpose of drinking beer? What happened to moderation?

The recommended daily allowance of beer is two 12-ounce servings for men, one 12-ounce serving for women. The abv of light beer is so slight a lower amount than a regular-brewed beer that drinking the recommended amount should make little difference here in reaching " ... the desired level of satisfaction."

Iknowtruthismine said...

Any time a concerted advertising program gets a population to accept a cheaper-to-make, equally priced, lower quality product by making people believe it is better, it is a con.

The first "light" beer (Gablinger's)fell flat on its face on the weakness of the product alone. It wasn't until Miller came out in an advertising blitz pushing the cheaper-to-make, more-highly-profitable swill that the American public lined up to be fleeced.

Why do you think that all the major beer companies are pushing "light" products in their advertising? It's not because they care about the consumer. It costs them less to make. As to Bud Light being the #1 selling beer-like product in America, remember America bought Wonder Bread, Pop-Tarts and George W. Bush, which speaks volumes about the American lack of taste and judgment.

Bottle Crowns said...

I'd be surprised if this product remains in the marketplace for any real length of time post-introduction.

In my opinion, wheat beers are not favorites among American consumers. I would have thought a wheat introduction would have been
rolled out in late spring or early summer. A light wheat seems the wrong choice for the shift from warm to cooler weather.

Miller test marketed three different "craft styles" about a year or two ago (wheat, blond and amber, I think) and all products are now off the shelves in the respective test areas.

AB certainly has the marketing power to push this new release, but in reality, with the exception of Bud Lime, all these new "crafty"
releases are already available in their Michelob product offerings.

For myself, I will be looking for the new Bud Light Wheat. It will be a new crown-cap for the collection.

powered by hops said...

Will this strategy ever backfire on AB? Will consumers ever make the leap from these sort of pseudo craft beers to great American beers which are produced with care and respect?

I think not. This is another beer made for the masses to quickly pour down their necks and grab another, keeping a steady stream of alcohol flowing without feeling full.

Sure craft beers cost a bit more but they should, they're made with more of the essential components hence they have more flavor.

Please AB faithful try a locally produced beer from an independent brewer or brew pub. Give quality a fighting chance against quantity.

Ryan said...

I'm not a huge fan of light beers but I bought a 6 pack of the BL wheat today and am drinking it while I'm watching the game. In all honesty it's really not that bad. It's smooth and doesn't have a strong aftertaste. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give it a 6.5 or a 7. I probably won't buy it again at the store only because most of the time I drink Shiner Bock but if I'm out at a bar and they don't have Shiner and they have the wheat on tap, I would order some.

Anonymous said...

I am so ashamed to know I have been conned now for 17 plus years because I drink and like Bud Light. I have tried those trendy brews but always come back to BL. I have enjoyed the Lime on occasion and liked it so I figured I would give the Wheat a try. Getting conned sure is refreshing on a hot summer day at the beach!!!