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The New York Times reports this morning on how, as consumers shift away from beer and toward liquor and wine, “brewing companies are fighting back. Hoping to change the way people think about beer, brewers are devising new and unusual packaging, spending more money to promote their brands in bars and restaurants, and producing drinks that may be beer in name only.”

Part of the problem, according to the piece, may be that beer has become nearly irrelevant to the American consumer – that the industry and its products didn’t really change in ways that reflected the changes that were taking place in the industry’s core user base. As customers became more upscale and/or aspirational, for example, many beer companies didn’t see or understand what was taking place.

“Hoping to make its existing products seem more distinctive without changing the contents, Anheuser-Busch started selling Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Light, Michelob, Anheuser World Lager and Bud Select in chic and colorful aluminum bottles that give the products a funky postmodern look,” the NYT writes. “The company has also resurrected packaging from the 1920's through the 1950's to give standard-shaped bottles and cans a hip, retro-chic look.”
KC's View:
We have to wonder if an argument could be made that one of the things that has helped diminish beer’s appeal is the fact that low price always seems to be a part of the marketing package – that the industry somehow hurt itself by turning the product into a commodity, no matter the brand name on the label.

Just wondering.