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.“