Home' National Liquor News : NLN MAR 2016 Contents 38 | MARCH 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
LOW CARB/MID STRENGTH BEERS
trajectory of Asahi Soukai to continue to build with sustained marketing
With mid-strength beers now coming from key international brewers
Carlsberg and Asahi, Vousden highlights that this presents a strong
opportunity for many retailers.
“With the emergence of the premium international mid-strength beer
category, there is a big opportunity to trade up from mainstream mid-
strength beer brands,” he said.
And like Pearce, Vousden reminds retailers that the improvements in
brewing techniques have brought good beers into the mid-strength arena,
and consumers are recognising that.
“Asahi Soukai (Japanese for refreshing) delivers a clean, smooth taste
that embodies the sophisticated, Japanese way of life whilst still retaining
that unmistakable refreshing, crisp Asahi Super Dry taste,” says Vousden.
“Born of Asahi Super Dry, Asahi Soukai is an easy-to-drink, non-filling,
sessionable beer, expertly brewed using quality Japanese brewing techniques.
Asahi Soukai is light in colour and alcohol, with a body that has a clean,
refreshing taste, with a slight bitter note that provides a balanced flavour,
while its effervescent sparkle acts as a great thirst quencher.”
While for Pearce, the advice for retailers is to bring the different beer
segments together in-store.
“The best advice we can provide,” Pearce says, “is for retailers to
position no alcohol beer options with the full and mid-strength beers.
Outlets which have done this have noticed significant increases in sales on
no alcohol beer without impacting on regular beer sales.”
As for Pure Blonde, Orlando emphasised that the work that has been
done revitalising the brand has been recognised by consumers and is
“What we would say to retailers is, the work that we have done
in revitalising Pure Blonde has definitely struck a chord and there is
definitely a big base of consumers who are looking for options and
alternatives and are looking for more knowledge on what is going into
their beer, or what isn’t in their beer.
“I will continue to prioritise this segment because I think these trends
are only going to continue. From a Pure Blonde perspective, the brand
well and truly has a lot of momentum behind it and retailers will see an
active 12 to 24 months coming, in terms of new communications, which
will include in-store support, and we are looking at NPD of all sorts to
really continue to provide that alternative.
“We feel an obligation to lead this journey, we led it 10 or so years ago
so our focus is to continue to lead, so we are focused on this area.”
And as with the other brewers, Orlando agrees the work that has gone on
with the actual beer liquid is helping push both segments in their growth.
“I think that consumer desire for a healthier lifestyle is one of the major
trends which is pushing low-carb to be the third highest beer segment by
value. But I also think that we have been able to provide a beer that tastes
really good, but is also providing some alternatives for consumers. So in my
mind there isn’t a taste compromise in low-carb, it really is a win-win from
a taste perspective. And that’s a real focus for us, first and foremost it’s to
be making a great tasting beer and then we’re also looking at the benefits
of that brew. We’ve got some really incredible brewers here and we’ve
pushed them really hard and they are really excited by the challenge of it
and by some of the things that we are thinking about for Pure Blonde.”
Consumers are definitely thinking more about the products and the
amount of alcohol they are drinking, so making sure that beers deliver on
taste is absolutely crucial. As Orlando says, looking at the benefits of the
brews has to come after the taste has been nailed down.
Asahi, Carlsberg, Coopers & Carlton and United have all shown
their commitment to low carb and mid-strength beers and these two
segments show retailers that there is still scope for growth in the beer
category and when the brewers are recognising this, that means more
good news for retailers.
Orlando says: “There is a real big momentum behind Pure Blonde
at the moment, the relaunch of Pure Blonde has really seen consumers
respond in a big way and we’re really excited about that. Therefore
we are committed to quite a big couple of years of investment with the
consumers, investment with the retailers and some exciting and fun new
things coming out. So stay tuned and feel confident that we’re excited and
consumers have come back to this category and this brand and we are
going to capitalise on that.”
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