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Another report on Big Beer losing ground to craft, and their response.

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Pete0714, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Pete0714

    Pete0714 Aficionado (150) Indiana May 18, 2011

    Interesting story I saw this morning, also somewhat troubling how little the big beer companies and their advertizers get what the real problem is.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505270_...lump/?tag=morningFlexGridRight;flexGridModule
    They seem to think it's all about image and "emotional" connections, not taste or substance. My main concern: If the big companies continue to ignore the reality, are they not making the same mistake that the big auto companies did, not seeing the trends and responding before its too late. That means tons of jobs at stake. As a beer advocate I want good beer to win out, but I want big beer to learn that truth as well and adapt, not to see them falter and people's livelihoods become the casualties.
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  2. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,015) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Not surprising. As always, these big breweries are just playing to their strength: marketing.

    And I'm not too worried about the employment issue. Anyone who loses a job at a big brewery that fails to understand what's happening can probably find a job at a smaller brewery that gets it. Adapt or die.
    bushycook likes this.
  3. well there's your problem.
  4. smutty33

    smutty33 Advocate (650) Connecticut Jun 12, 2009

    Another interesting article.....Thanks for the post.

    The more these big beer companies start worrying about their lost sales,the sillier their commercials get.lol.

    Go craft brew !!

    Cheers All.....
  5. Yep interesting. I'd rather have BMC stick with "platinum" and vortex bottles than ramp up their piss poor attempt at craft beer. Shock Top, I'm looking at your Mohawk...
  6. fartmaster

    fartmaster Initiate (0) California Dec 27, 2011

    wait so an "emotional connection" is their problem. How do they plan on connecting with anyone? Thats like a wal-mart saying their going to remember all their customers, just like the small mom and pop shops.
  7. Pete0714

    Pete0714 Aficionado (150) Indiana May 18, 2011

    I actually thought the idea of the "emotional connection" was a joke, as the person who said that this was their problem in the interview also said that the brewers had been focusing too much on taste. Really, the big brewers have been focusing too much on taste?! The problem is that they have not even tried to make the beer taste like a beer, but like water. The problem isn;t an emotional connection. I have memories of drinking in college, good memories involving bad beer, but it doesn't draw me back to those beers. How ignorant do they think we are? I think the biggest problem I have is that they insult the craft brew lover's intellegence and taste by not even trying.
  8. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Savant (375) Maine Oct 28, 2011

    BMC needs to step away from the lite market and focus all their time and money in where the greatest expansion potential is- the Budlight Platinum Limed Chellada Iced Tea thats triple hopped in a vortex bottle that tells you when its cold (B-LPLCIT for short)
  9. cpw84

    cpw84 Zealot (85) Ohio Feb 1, 2008

    "Emotional connection" sounds like it came from marketing folks. If you spend enough on advertising every year, you think you can spin the same old product into something new.
  10. JimKal

    JimKal Savant (290) North Carolina Jul 31, 2011

    I appreciate your concern for the workers, that is admirable. But, I think the transition will be slow. Craft beer is , by its nature, more labor intensive. As it grows, it will employ more workers than the equivalent BMC style brewer. Think about how New Belgium treats its workers and is now employee owned.
  11. JackBrewsBeer

    JackBrewsBeer Aspirant (45) Texas Feb 12, 2011

    Sadly, I suspect the article is right about one thing. BMC sales will more than likely remain dominant for the foreseeable future- though I hope craft beer beats the 10% mark. The truth is, people are susceptible to marketing commoditized foods even when they have better options availible.

    Case in point here in the Dallas area: even in neighborhoods full of mom and pop taco stands cranking out authentic Mexican treats at amazing prices, you can still find a Taco Bell and a Taco Bueno, both doing booming business. For the masses, image beats authenticity 9 times out of 10.
  12. Horbar

    Horbar Advocate (530) Rhode Island Feb 24, 2012

    I am just very disturbed that more people are drinking Coors Light.
  13. drtth

    drtth Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    What the article amost totally ignores but the marketing expert acknowledges is that the threat to light beers and other mass produced beers isn't coming from the craft beer segment despite its growth. After all how afraid can you be of over 2000 breweries that collectively only account for about 5% of the total sales of beer. That isn't enough to account for the decline in sales of mass market beers. However, there are lots of statistics from a variety of sources that strongly suggest that as baby boomers have aged their economic circumstances have changed and they are switching from beer to wine consumption in large numbers. Thus the real problem isn't the taste or non-taste of beer, it is an age related switch in consumption patterns favoring wine and other more expensive beverages (e.g., look at the growth pattern of sales of single malt whicky or single barrel bourbons the last 10 years).
    Chaz likes this.
  14. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    These people aren't idiots. "Emotional connection" is still more relevant for the vast majority of beer drinkers than taste.
    chcfan likes this.
  15. fox227

    fox227 Advocate (555) California Nov 19, 2010

    I agree, but I find it to be bizarre. The majority of American's wear Brand Loyalty on their sleeves, and that is bewildering. After all, how would one know which is the best brand until one had tried more of them? It's like the Chiquita Banana bias. They are all Cavendish Bananas. What's the difference? Just the damn sticker, really.
  16. Yeah it's sad really. I have brand loyalty with certain things, but how are people drinking swill because of an emotional connection? I only have brand loyalty when a company puts out something good. If the brewers think that in the long run they'll be able to win with an inferior product, they're idiotic. I don't see craft lowering in popularity, and the biggest barrier to entry was that people won't buy anything new. But with it growing, people will be more prone to trying it and realizing BMC sucks. Obviously they'll always be huge because most people like bland garbage, but those breweries are not going to get market share back.
  17. Bobheed

    Bobheed Savant (355) Texas Dec 27, 2010

    It's really stupid of them to claim it's about "emotional connection" and shit like that, so they change the way they advertise. Most craft breweries(that big beer is losing customers to) doesn't even have advertisements. The thing that's really frustrating is that they will never admit that the beer they make just doesn't do it anymore.

    It's really stupid too, because these companies have insane amounts of money and resources, if they actually wanted to make good beer, they could easily make among the best in the world, but they don't, they just change their ads, create another gimmick, and continue to lose sales.
  18. Prh27

    Prh27 Savant (310) Virginia Apr 24, 2012

    If they wanted to make better beer, it would cut in on their profit margins. Something that big beer is not willing to come to terms with, no matter how much money they are already making.
  19. So you're saying this beer will be more than 64 calories?! No thanks.
  20. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (825) California Nov 16, 2009

    These are some smart bastards with MBA's and Phd's in Marketing & Advertising. I think they should put down the $300 bottle of wine or $1000 bottle of scotch and realize I dont drink piss water because my buddy does, I drink good beer because IT TASTES GOOD!!!!

    Cheers!
    WassailWilly likes this.
  21. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Champion (790) New York Dec 13, 2009

    i recently saw an undercover boss with Molson Coors...they went undercover and their findings were that the biggest problem is that saftey gloves are not located throughout the facility so sometimes people need to walk a great distance if they forget their gear. They also learned that they need a way for upper management to better hear suggestions like these from the guys on the floor...but all in all it was a pat themselves on the back for doing a great job kind of thing. They said that drinkers are going to craft for perceived quality issues with the big guys...they really keep missing the point.

    I'm more than happy to buy from a macro if they can make an amazing beer. Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada (as well as others) are by no means tiny, yet I buy their products all of the time...and I continue to buy goose island since their beer continues to taste great to me. I wish the big guys made better stuff, then perhaps it would be in larger quantities and we wouldn't have to trade or fight for this stuff in our home towns.
  22. DesMoinesMike

    DesMoinesMike Savant (435) Iowa Mar 23, 2008

    If they wanted to make craft beer in massive quantities, there probably wouldn't be enough world-wide resources to do it.
  23. Or customers to buy it.
  24. chcfan

    chcfan Advocate (525) California Oct 29, 2008

    Don't you think they would charge more for the better beer to keep profit margins?

    Also, I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but it's not like they would reformulate current brands to be more flavorful as that would alienate their current customers. It would have to be new brands.
  25. I guess nobody is paying attention to how some big companies get bigger these days. They buy other companies. So...just like AB or InBev bought Goose Island, so will other macros buy other crafts. And yes, I read all about how craft brewers are true to their calling, yada yada yada.
    The answer to that is: 1. Everybody has their price and although there may be nobody who is willing to pay it now, anybody can lower their price. 2. Sooner or later, and as the formerly young craft brewers grow older and look to slow down, well, see #1.
  26. I saw that show too. I was really dumbfounded at how they took perceived quality to mean cleanliness and safety. They just showed the employees cleaning the tanks and making sure the bottles were filled correctly and not broken. Why is it so hard to understand that their beer tastes like water... on a good day (other days, just piss). Quality (in this particular case/reference) has nothing to do with keeping things safe and clean, rather the taste and ingredients. For people who are supposed to study the market and get on top of trends to try to capitalize on what is popular, they are failing miserably (as we can see with their year to year lack of growth compared to craft). Why are they not capable of drawing comparisons to say food chains. McDonalds for example provides shit food at cheap prices, they can have the most clean and safe store but that does not equate to quality when you compare it to a top steakhouse - its the taste of the product that matters first and foremost. It just blows my mind that they still can not draw simple comparisons within their own industry.
    cosmicevan likes this.

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