business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Anheuser Busch and SABMiller are faced with the need to undo the “frat boy” image created by years and millions of dollars worth of commercials.

    “Is it just a coincidence that while the beer industry has been hitting these advertising themes, three important consumer groups have begun to turn away from beer in favor of wine and mixed drinks?” the WSJ asks. “Baby boomers increasingly are drinking wine, young women now often find it more fashionable to drink a low-carb cocktail than a brew, and older members of the so-called echo-boom, the children of baby boomers born from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, also seem drawn to cocktails, in large part because of the more-sophisticated image the spirits industry has created for its products.”

    As a result, the beer industry is developing a “Got Milk?”-style campaign designed to change the beverage’s image and drive new sales.

  • California retailer Raley’s will unveil a line of refrigerated gourmet soups made from California ingredients under the Nob Hill Trading Co. brand name.

  • The Coca-Cola Co. announced that it plans to discontinue Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Diet Coke and Diet Coke With Lemon by the end of the year, and replace them with Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. However, it said the two Vanilla Coke varieties could return in the future.

  • Newsday reports that bison is getting more popular among American consumers: “According to the Department of Agriculture, 16,225 bison were processed in federally inspected plants during the first half of this year, up from 14,377 slaughtered during the same period last year.

    “Since 2001 -- the first year the USDA tracked bison production -- processing of the meat has nearly doubled.”

    The reason? Bison is perceived as a healthier red meat, lower in fat than both mainstream beef and chicken.

  • Burger King reportedly has created a series of comedy short films that support its brand – and has formatted them so they can be downloaded to and viewed on the new video iPod. The strategy is seen as a symbol of how a new piece of technology equipment already has integrated itself into the cultural zeitgeist.

  • Troubled Krispy Kreme is working to alleviate some of its financial problems by selling off its investments in both some US international franchises, as well a restructuring debt agreements.

KC's View: