Earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD) unveiled its latest efforts to improve sales of its flagship Budweiser brand with a new bowtie-shaped can.
Apparently, the sleek container — which incidentally holds 11.3 ounces of beer compared with Budweiser’s traditional 12-ounce cans — has been in development since 2010, and the first eight-packs featuring the new shape are set to go on sale on May 6.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the marketing folks behind the 118-year-old brand are hoping to target younger consumers with their new creation. As Budweiser VP of innovation Pat McGauley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “We know there are a large number of consumers out there looking for new things, the trend-seekers. We expect both our core beer drinkers and new customers to try it.”
Will it work?
I’m not gonna lie: As one of those younger consumers, you can bet I’ll go out and buy one of those fabled eight-packs when they arrive. On that note, however, it won’t be because of the beer inside.
And that, my friends, is why I’m convinced that Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD)’s new can won’t matter over the long run. Like the gimmicky vented wide-mouth cans and Vortex bottles offered by Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP), Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD)’s new design doesn’t actually offer anything to beer drinkers except a cool-looking container.
In that article, I noted the advice given to Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM) founder Jim Koch by his father after he started the company: “People don’t drink the marketing; they drink the beer.”
Unlike the offerings of its giant competitors, Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM)’s can actually serve some functional utility for consumers. As I mentioned last time around, beer consultant Roy Desrochers described the flared lip and wider top of Boston Beer’s product as working “in concert to deliver the beer in a way that makes the flavor closer to drinking out of a glass.”