No Bottoms Up: Light Beer Sales Are Sagging

(Tasty news for many faithful Professor Good Ales readers!- Prof. GA)

Written by Eric Felten for online,wsj.com

Light beer is in a slump. Advertising Age reported this week that U.S. sales of the biggest brands are in an alarming slide, with Bud Light down 5.3% this year and Miller Lite off 7.5%. Is this but a recessionary blip or are we finally witnessing a great consumer revolt against shamefully bad beer, shamelessly promoted?

There are many possible explanations for the decline in light-beer sales. Advertising Age speculates that the dawdling of the economy has left 21-to-35-year-old men with pockets too empty to afford “premium” (which is to say, heavily advertised) beers. Old Milwaukee Light, here we come.

Or could it be the fault of the insultingly stupid ads themselves (campaigns on which the industry spends hundreds of millions). Miller Lite has been relying on skits yukking it up about how guys can’t commit to relationships with women, but sure do love their beer. Bud Light has used the genius tag-line “drinkablility.” No doubt high praise for a beverage.

The marketers don’t really know what the problem is. Maybe it’s just that the marginal caloric savings promised by these diet beers no longer seems worth putting up with lousy beer. After all, the elastic-undergarment maker Spanx is doing brisk business selling “compression undershirts” for men. Why should guys worry about calories and carbs when they can just wear girdles?

[feltenbeer] Associated Press

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