3rd party testing lab Consumer Reports recently did a blinded controlled testing of ten popular lagers. The only standout of the ten was Coors which scored “very good” for taste and value. Coors also delivered a solid whooping to InBev rivals Budweiser and Bud Light in both taste and value categories.
The big surprise here is Budweiser and Bud Light from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (BUD) (NYSE) didn’t even place in the value category. Adding insult to injury is AB was beaten out by Trader Joe’s store brand Tag contract brewed by Minhas Craft Brewery and Walgreen’s store brand Big Flats brewed by Genesee Brewing Company. Walgreens? Come on man!
For years Budweiser and especially Bud Light have been slammed by the beer blogging community. AB seems to lick their wounds and move on, actually I don’t think they really care. This time around they should care; this Consumer Reports test should be troubling for Anheuser Busch.
We are not talking about some beer blogger flaming Bud Light from his mother’s basement this time around. Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. They use standardized testing measures and tools to conduct their tests. Consumer Reports also hires the best analysts and statisticians to evaluate the testing data. This means that this test is not expert option or conjecture. Consumer Reports has scientifically proven Bud Light is an inferior brand when compared to its contemporaries.
So what is next for InBev/Anheuser Busch? My suggestion instead of trying to reinvent the Bud Light brand as Anheuser Busch has done over the years – Bud Light Dry, Bud Light Lime and Bud Ice Light to name a few, take a cue from Dominos Pizza. Dominos Pizza man’ed up recently and admitted their pizza could be better and decided to do something about it. Dominos Pizza updated and changed their recipe. It may be time for Bud Light to do the same. When you are beat by Walgreens’ store brand it is time to man up and admit you have some work to do.
So before InBev embarks on another million dollar marketing campaign for Bud Light Clamato or Bud Light Wheat…just fix Bud Light. Bud Light wins yearly awards for their advertising, when was the last time Bud Light won an award for brewing?
It is time for AB to decide which business they are in brewing or advertising.