Coors Light becomes No. 2 beer
The iconic Budweiser brand continues a long slide out of favor with American drinkers, falling to third place.
If Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) isn't panicking yet, it should be. This is the first time in nearly two decades that Anheuser-Busch hasn't controlled the top two beers in the country. The King of Beers is on its way to becoming court jester.
Budweiser has seen sales drop for years, and ran into serious trouble in 2009 and 2010. Last year wasn't as bad, but shipments still fell 4.6%, according to trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights. Coors Light shipments rose less than 1%, but that was enough to move it into second place.
The No. 1 brand is still the ubiquitous Bud Light. But since 1988, shipments of the Budweiser label have dropped by more than 60%. Ouch.
Coors Light and Budweiser are still neck and neck. Coors Light shipped 18.2 million barrels last year and Budweiser shipped 17.7 million.
"Anytime you can dethrone the king, it's special," a MillerCoors spokesman told Advertising Age. An Anheuser-Busch spokesman was less celebratory, saying the company was on track with a strategy to stabilize Budweiser.
Investors seem to be losing a little enthusiasm for beer stocks, Beer Marketer's Insights reports. Anheuser-Busch is still doing better than any other brewer, but its gains slowed to 10.5% last year from 18% in 2010. SABMiller (SBMRF) was up less than 1% last year, and Heineken (HINKF) fell 14%.
What can Budweiser do to turn its decades-long slide around? The company seems to be trying everything from dressing up its cans with bow ties to telling drinkers to "Grab some buds" in new music-heavy commercials. Anheuser-Busch even handed out free samples of Budweiser at trendy bars and restaurants.
Meanwhile, Coors Light has pushed a cool and refreshing theme, introducing cold-activated bottles and cans.
While Budweiser is slipping, craft beers are still riding a huge wave of momentum. Boston Beer Co. (SAM) shares have absolutely been on fire since October, rising more than 30%.
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i want to know how they manage to sell anything considering how awful the stuff is!!!
the top three beers are three of the worst beers in their category....that being m****duced(god,get a censoring program that works please!) low alcohol mostly water beer marketed at idiots who buy anything they see in a commercial....the same people keeping mcdonalds and the reality tv industry alive and well
I cant speak for everyone else... but for me, as a proud American, I loved Budweiser after a long hard day at work. After they sold out, it hasnt tasted the same since.. shame on you Budweiser! As one of your biggest fans I gotta say that when your biggest following was hard working Americans and you preach pride in being "American" your sell-out followed by rising costs is ecactly why you are slipping. You are getting exactly what you deserve... If times were tough, you shouldve stuck it out with the rest of us!
Buy local microbrews and send Anheuser-Busch the message they need to hear.
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