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Diatribe: Will Budweiser’s Skinny Cans Attract New Drinkers?

04/18/2013

BudweiserIf it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Beer cans work.  In my college days, my friends and I would occasionally pool our meager funds to buy a six-pack of beer on a Friday night after a long week of studying.  Way back then we could buy Hamm’s Extra Special Light for $1.99 per six-pack.  We got what we paid for.  The beer was nasty but, as struggling college students trying to stretch every dime we did our best to enjoy it.  As long as it was super cold, it was a little bit easier to choke it down.

The point is, we didn’t care about the quality of the beer, the packaging in which it came, the size of the container or any other characteristic … we only cared about the price.  We were young, we were broke and we wanted cheap beer.

Next month, Anheuser-Busch will try something new in an attempt to lure new drinkers to the brand.  They’re going to sell Budweiser beer in cans with twice the aluminum and a ten-degree indentation meant to symbolize the brand’s traditional red bow tie graphic.

The taste of the beer will stay the same and test marketing, apparently, indicates that the new cans, which will be more rigid and harder to crush, will appeal to both men and women.  The new cans will be manufactured on a one-of-a-kind machine in Newbergh, New York and then shipped to Los Angeles and Williamsburg, Virginia to be filled with 11.3 ounces of beer, amounting to about 137 calories.

“Trend seekers are always looking for something new and they are often younger, the Millennials.” – Pat McGauley, Vice President of Innovation at Anheuser-Busch

The new cans will be sold in eight-packs instead of the six- and twelve-packs that are currently stocked by retailers.  All existing bottles and cans will continue to be produced.

It would appear to me that the success of this new venture will depend entirely upon the price.  I know some young people, and I used to be one myself, and the shape of the can will not be enough to lure them into purchasing Budweiser for the first time.

“Oh!  That’s a pretty can!  It has a tiny can waist!  I think I’ll buy some of THAT beer!” – No one, ever.

Do you think this gimmick will work?

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6 Comments
  1. And they probably spent millions researching and test-marketing ….. a can. Oy.

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  2. Anonymous permalink

    Hah…Did you notice the reduction, from 12 ounces, to 11.3????? Budweiser is going to make a lot of money just on the quantity reduction. See, it’s not about the can. That is just a distraction.

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  3. While I don’t drink anymore, for the life of me, I have never felt the attraction to the King of Beers, so I am not a good judge. To me, other beers were more rewarding. Will this help? It may help some of the audience, but it may harm the others. Let’s hope it is not a New Coke fiasco for them.

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  4. It might appeal to a female audience, but I really don’t think it’s wise to make a can with twice the aluminum now. What’s the deal with making the can less crushable?

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