Budweiser draping “America” on its bottles and cans for the second time ignores the fact that it made customers and craft brewers “furious” last year, says Business Insider.
The rebrand last year was only supposed to go through the 2016 election season but was brought back this summer.
BI reporter Kate Taylor said May 23, 2017 that last year’s campaign was “polarizing” because Budweiser parent AB InBev is based in Belgium.
The company noted it is donating up to $1 million in profits to military non-profit Folds of Honor.
Taylor last year wrote that “Budweiser has been struggling to attract millennial customers since the majority have never tried it, instead moving towards wine and craft beers. The campaign, like the similarly American-focused Bud Light Party Campaign, was supposed to grab young consumers’ attention with a flourish of patriotism,” said Taylor.
Bud Responds: “Made in America”
Jennifer Goldsmith, marketing communications manager, Anheuser-Busch, emailed the following statement to O’Dwyer’s:
“Budweiser has been unveiling new summer packaging since 2011 and our ‘America’ cans and bottles were no different. Born in St. Louis, Budweiser is proudly domestic. Every drop of Budweiser consumed in America has been brewed in one of our twelve U.S. breweries for over 141 years with the same high-quality standards. The ‘America’ cans and bottles, like all Budweiser packaging, are produced at our American glass, can and lid plants.”
Gemma Hart, VP-communications, North America, Anheuser-Busch, said the views and biases of this reporter are “very clear” and it seems “very unlikely you would be open to hearing our perspective. Therefore, I don’t think it makes any sense for us to continue this email chain.”
We had emailed Hart that the name “America is not only draped on tables in bars and restaurants but Budweiser bottles and cans (about 2.4 million yearly) are thrown away in public and private trash cans, left in street gutters, dumps and other places” and that “only an insensitive, foreign-owned company” would allow that to be possible.
We said AB InBev doesn’t dare have a press conference or teleconference on the issue or even talk about it on the phone.
AB InBev Misses Estimates
Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, was not paid a bonus this year for the first time since 2008 since earnings missed analysts’ estimates for the seventh straight quarter.
The company announced an increase to its cost-saving target that left some analysts disappointed.
Fourth-quarter results missed estimates at almost all levels as the brewer continues to struggle with a slump in its key market of Brazil, said analysts. AB InBev paid $103 billion for main rival SABMiller last year. It raised its target for savings from the acquisition by $350 million to $2.8 billion within three to four years, although some analysts had expected an increase of $600 million.