Coors Light: Now The Avis Of Beers

I’m not exactly sure why this appears to be such big news, but it seems to be everywhere. Beer Marketer’s Insights is reporting that, based upon estimated numbers for 2011, Coors Light has overtaken Budweiser to become the 2nd best-selling beer in America. According to the report, “[t]his is the first time in almost 20 years, since 1993, that AB didn’t have top 2 brands.” But I note that according to IRI data, Miller Lite held the #2 spot at least as recently as 2007. Though to be fair, it’s true that Bud Light and Budweiser have enjoyed the top two spots, if off and on, for quite some time.

But the story isn’t so much about Coors Light being up (they were, but only 0.8%). What’s more interesting is that Budweiser was down 4.6%, which had more to do with the switch in positions. InBev seems to be struggling with the A-B core brands ever since they took over Anheuser-Busch. It can’t help that they’ve laid off countless employes, bullied suppliers and lost a great deal of goodwill through their cost-cutting way of doing business. They don’t seem to have the same relationship with consumers that the company did when it was run by the Busch family. And while the big breweries are losing ground to craft beer overall, ABI seems to losing more. So it makes sense that another brand would pick up the slack, catapulting Coors Light into the number two position, a spot Avis once upon a time used to great effect in their advertising. Maybe we’ll see Coors do something similar. “Coors Light is No. 2 in beer. We try harder.


  1. Mr. Nuts says

    AB used to treat their distributors like royalty — and it showed in the field. You’d never find any AB product more than four months old on shelves anywhere.

    Now? Was in a 7-11 a couple of days ago. There were some aluminum bottles of Bud celebrating the Giants winning the World Series. Born on date? November, 2010.

    The bottom line is InBev’s flagship brand has been losing 4% of its annual volume for years — despite tacky promotions like rebate coupons slapped all over multi-packs — yet the company’s stock is within a few bucks of its all time high.

    Seems to me that, sooner or later, the other shoe is going to drop on BUD

  2. beerman49 says

    … not to mention that InBev can’t make up the difference via selling Bud in Europe because of the Euro’s declining value against US$ because of the economic problems in Greece & Italy; also Spain & Portugal.

    For sure, craft beer has been spiraling upward, making serious inroads on the “Budswilloors” (coined by Ken Schroeder, a former prez of the San Andreas Malts) market stateside & elsewhere.

    Not that I feel sorry for InBev, but their “beancounters” (like their US counterparts often have done) f’d up by not understanding how things work at the lowest level – & for sure, they’re clueless about the US market. Will be interesting to see the Bud ads for the Super Bowl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>