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This Summer Introduces Bud Light Orange And Refreshed Bud Light Lime

orange Photo via Bud Light

In the beginning of the whole craft beer revolution you had your MACRObrews, your imports … and really not much else.

Then “microbrews” (such as our friends at The Naked Brewing Company) started popping up, local businesses that decided they could deliver a better product. A beer tap line up of Domestic, Light, Import, and “craft,” went from ‘standard’ in most bars to the main attraction in many in the span of, what, 20 years? It’s been unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Truly remarkable.

This shift in the market has always been good news for consumers, who now have options when it comes to varieties. However, it’s also very bad news for the “big three” breweries (Anheuser-Busch, InBev, and Miller/Coors), who’ve watched their space in bar fridges dwindle as consumers opt for more sophisticated (i.e. less “piss-like”) products. In many instances, they’ve chosen to simply purchase competing craft breweries to just eliminate their competition. If that doesn’t work? Well according to Bud Light you win over the next-gen drinking crowd with the power of citrus fruits:

Bud Light announced that they’re releasing two new summer beers: a “refreshed” version of their Bud Light Lime, and a new one called Bud Light Orange. Both are brewed with real citrus peels, and both are probably tasty enough at first, but then sort of disgusting and overpowering by the end.

“Our millennial consumers are eager to try new, flavored options in the light lager category. We wanted to create something new to engage with these consumers and bring them into the Bud Light family,” said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing, Bud Light. “Flavored beer has seen steady growth with consumers continually looking for higher quality beverages made with real, natural flavors. Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Orange answers that call and reinforces Bud Light’s commitment to quality consumers have trusted for over 35 years.”

I guess their reasoning, such as it is, is sound: They claim that flavored beers are on the rise, and of those, citrus flavors account for an overwhelming portion of the category. Orange, they say, is experiencing a renaissance and has grown considerably in the past years. If you can’t beat’em, join’em. If your customers are drinking something other than what you sell, it makes sense to make that thing.

On the other hand, their millennial audience may actually be their toughest to win over. This is a group that spent a lifetime never having ordered a Bud Light product with anything more than ambivalence. Branding matters, and personally, if I’m given the choice of drinking an actual wheat beer with an orange slice, or a Bud Light with some orange syrup in it, I’m going to take the former every time.

That said, who’m I kidding? I’m sure I’ll not only try these, but I’ll probably “try” five or six of them before complaining it’s way too sweet and moving on. But by then, I guess they’ve already won.

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