The fall of Budweiser has been a long, slow decline over the past two decades. Once the golden standard of American beer, Budweiser reigned atop the beer industry, selling the most products, producing the best commercials and reaching a massive audience. However, times have changed in the U.S., and Budweiser has seemingly fallen out of favor.
In 2001, Budweiser fell behind Bud Light as the top preference for drinkers and then again, in 2011, it fell to third – losing out to Coors Light as well, according to The Wall Street Journal. To compound matters even more, the latest data indicated total craft beer sales outpaced those of Budweiser in 2013.
The shift in consumer demand has become a problem for the company, as there are now so many options available to drinkers. Additionally, there is now a greater focus on healthier drinks, while Budweiser remains a standard, high-calorie lager. The Journal noted bars now have beers that are cheaper, healthier and tastier than Budweiser, leaving the beer relegated to the backseat in a changing industry.
As craft beer production and appeal increases, the products will be more widely available in more regions as opposed to only in select markets. This will only broaden craft beer’s influence and perhaps push the industry even further into the mainstream.
Though the rise of craft beer is well documented, the industry may be facing a small problem with the sale of its ever-popular “growlers” – 64 oz. jugs full of beer that are sold over the counter for the purpose of taking home. Many states have bans on such large containers because officials believe it encourages binge drinking, according to CBS.
However, growlers are a new trend for bars looking to reach out to consumers and provide their products in a new manner. For instance, Florida doesn’t allow alcohol to be sold in any receptacle larger than 32 ounces, which has a negative effect on consumers. Instead of buying on 64-oz. growler, patrons must now buy two separate 32-oz. jugs, which means they are paying a higher price for the same amount of beer.
“Well the only sense I can make from it is it slows the growth of the craft beer industry down,” said Guy Piasecki, Florida bar owner, according to CBS.
Though it’s unclear just how much the industry will be impacted, bans on growlers do place a hurdle in the way, particularly because many craft consumers support the innovation and uniqueness of the products.
J. Mcloone Craft Brewery Signs makes signs and printed labels for the craft beer industry.