Light beer has long been the coolest kid on the block in the U.S. beer industry, but according to a recent survey by Consumer Edge Insight, it’s finally dealing with some complications. Why are dedicated light beer drinkers abandoning ship? Here’s what they found:
- 27% are getting tired of the taste of light beer
- 21% are drinking more of other types of beer
- 20% are drinking less premium light beer to save money
- 17% are drinking other types of alcohol
- 37% describe premium light beers as “watery”
David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insight, has a hunch that a lot of these new feelings are because of craft beer. Many beer drinkers, especially younger ones, are finding that they prefer the stronger, more varied tastes that imports and craft beers provide. They’re a new breed of beer drinkers that are genuinely interested in how their brew is made and they are a lot more concerned about quality as opposed to caloric intake.
Light beer companies, however, are not going down without a fight. They understand the changing marketplace and are trying to stake their claim with new products. A current example of this is Bud Light Platinum from Anheuser-Busch; it’s marketed as a bolder light beer that’s triple filtered for that smooth, top-shelf taste. MillerCoors is responding to this with their own line extension called Miller Fortune, due out early in 2014. It’s being described as a beer “with edge, intrigue and charisma” and it will come in an all-black bottle with an embossed design. Miller Fortune is expected to be 6.9% alcohol by volume, compared with Bud Light Platinum’s 6% alcohol by volume.
This decline in the popularity of light beer may seem like a bad thing, but many are seeing it as a big opportunity to make more money. With the change in buying habits, consumers are showing that they are willing to spend more money on a quality product.