Low-Carbs Brewing Big Beer Sales

Jan 05, 2004

By George Anderson

Brewers were hoping to attract new consumers to the beer category when they jumped on the low-carb bandwagon. It’s still, perhaps, too early to tell if much headway is being
made into expanding the consumer base of the category but it is clear the new low-carb brews are selling.

Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketers Insight told the Associated Press, “It’s been the most successful new product since light beer. This is a phenomenon and no one really
knows how high is high, but no one really knows when it’s going to be over.’

The leader in low-carb beer wars is Michelob Ultra. The first major brand to come out with a low-carb version, the Anheuser-Busch product currently accounts for 2.1 percent of
beer sales in supermarkets.

Moderator’s Comment: Are low-carb beers expanding the consumer base of the category?

Our evidence is anecdotal but over the holidays we did see a couple wine drinkers trying out Michelob Ultra. None reported being ready to give up the grape
but they did say having some low-carb beer from time-to-time is something they could see themselves doing.

Anheuser-Busch, as you would expect, is serious about trying to expand the category’s consumer base. Michelob Ultra is slated to become the official beer
of the LPGA Tour.
Anderson – Moderator

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