Anheuser-Busch doubles down on margaritas

The company adds mango and raspberry flavors to its 'Rita' line, citing impressive sales with non-beer drinkers.

By Benzinga Mar 5, 2014 4:57PM

Credit: Courtesy of Anheuser-Busch via Facebook,

Caption: Bud Light Lime’s NEW Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita By Brianna Valleskey

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), the maker of Bud Light, is doubling its Bud Light Lime-A-Rita product line with two new flavors: Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita.

The new flavors hit shelves earlier this week.

The original Lime-A-Rita was introduced in 2012. Bud Light introduced Straw-Ber-Rita as a permanent flavor and Cran-Brrr-Rita as a seasonal, limited-release in 2013.

"Lime-A-Rita and Straw-Ber-Rita are two of our most successful innovations to-date. 

They allowed us to introduce the Bud Light brand into occasions it hadn't traditionally played in," Bud Light Vice President Rob McCarthy said in a press release. "We anticipate Raz-Ber-Rita and Mang-O-Rita to continue extending the brand successfully into the popular margarita space."

Straw-Ber-Rita was the largest share gainer in the beer industry in 2013, Bud Light Director of Marketing Tyler Simpson told Benzinga. Straw-Ber-Rita and Lime-A-Rita represented the No. 1 and No. 2 brands in the flavored malt beverage category.

"Over the last 2 years, the Ritas have combined to drive the most share growth and be one of the most successful new innovations in the beer industry," Simpson said. "Combined, the Ritas are larger than the category's next seven brands."

The Ritas are flavored malt beverages meant to taste like margaritas with eight percent alcohol by volume. The drinks are offered in a "Mix-A-Rita" 18-pack with each of the four flavors.

'Share of throat'

In a press release announcing full-year and fourth-quarter profits for 2013, Anheuser-Busch said its strategy is to capture an increasing "share of throat" by attracting customers who normally drink wine, hard liquor and other alcoholic beverages.

"Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas were developed using our insights that consumers are seeking both variety and refreshing, convenient cocktail solutions," Simpson said. "Lime-A-Rita was able to extend the Bud Light brand into occasions it hadn't traditionally played."

Simpson said the Ritas are marketed toward both beer and non-beer drinkers, and drinkers are almost a 50-50 split in regards to gender.

But the company said in the press release said that the Ritas have been especially popular with women. Other efforts to tap into the non-beer drinker market last year include introducing Stella Artois Cidre, a hard cider.

Anheuser-Busch reported a total revenue increase of 3.3 percent to $43.2 billion for 2013.

More from Benzinga

Mar 5, 2014 6:04PM
Remember don't drink and drive.... safety first or die early!
Mar 5, 2014 11:58PM
Lime A Rita was actually pretty good. But man, any one that can finish off a  Straw-Ber-Rita has no taste buds. They are god awful concoctions, so bad I used the remaining cans for target practice. 
Mar 5, 2014 6:53PM
The alcohol industry will soon get a slap in the face from the up and coming cannabis industry.
Mar 5, 2014 7:08PM
Ok, I will admit it! I LOVE the Lime-a-ritas! Great over ice:)
Mar 5, 2014 6:51PM
Mar 5, 2014 6:26PM
Remember, when Wine Coolers were extremely popular...??
Mar 5, 2014 6:45PM
Looks good to me.  Durning the summertime I'm always looking for something a little different than the same old beer.
Mar 5, 2014 11:21PM

The Bud Light Rita's, best time to enjoy... tailgating/ outside gatherings.

Any sport/ any reason to socialize outdoors.

Ice chest cold cans. High octane.

Mar 6, 2014 12:59PM
Why not the Ritas?  It's been years since they stopped making beer and went into the mystery malt biz.
Mar 6, 2014 11:07AM
doc365....Yeah that put the coffee through the nose this morning....LOL.
Mar 6, 2014 11:31AM
When I went to the Fort Collins, Co Anheuser Busch brewery when Lime-A-Ritas were just being made, the bartender at the sample bar said the best way to drink them was by mixing Bud Light Lime to them to your taste. Very good that way. 
Mar 6, 2014 11:49AM

Staw-ber-rita tastes like nasty medicine (and I like the green Nyquil).    I actually spit it out and drank water to get the taste out of my mouth.  Who the hell at Bud thinks this crap tastes good?  I am very reluctant to try the others and would only do it if someone else spent the money on it, I was near a sink, and had something else to drink after, just in case.

Mar 6, 2014 10:32AM
Whatever you do, do not mix them with regular beer.  Last fourth of July I was drinking strawber-ritas most of the evening out of our cooler on our boat.  At the end of the night I had a Bud Light platinum and ended up hurling in the river.  I will not ever drink a strawber-ita again. 
Mar 5, 2014 7:51PM
I like the Bud lite/Clamato blend.
Mar 5, 2014 8:40PM
more swill developed by a major swill producer gear to lure in the underage drinker to be hooked on their swill
Mar 5, 2014 6:24PM

Those look real appealing to the younger generation, particularly under-age drinkers..

I wonder why??

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