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Bud Light Lime makes strides as category leader

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Anheuser-Busch’s spicy new cousin to Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, which launched in May has gobbled up the summer beer market without affecting sales of other Budweiser and Bud Light brands, the company has reported. A-B had put about $35 million behind launching the beer across the United States earlier this year—an investment that seems to have paid off big time this summer.

The reported success of Bud Light Lime comes at a time of change. A-B was acquired by InBev, the companies announced in July, a takeover that was shaky at first, but has since become “friendly.”

A-B’s total, year-to-date sales have risen by about 2 percent, according to reported numbers from Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. Results for custom flavors at Miller and Coors had negative results, as did Corona’s family of beers.

A-B has said that it estimates about half of those drinking Bud Light Lime are either new to beer or have added the break-out flavor to their regular beer-drinking routines. The company also said that an estimated 20 percent of Bud Light Lime fans have migrated over from other brands such as Corona or Miller Chill. A-B estimates that about 30 percent of Lime fans switched from other A-B or Bud family beers.

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Beech Nut steps up competition with Gerber

BY Jenna Duncan

FLORIDA, N.Y. Beech-Nut has announced a challenge to competitor baby food maker Gerber: a line of specially-crafted all-natural baby and toddler foods called Let’s Grow! Nineteen new Let’s Grow! products, including a toddler cereal, seven-grain nibbles and whole grain yogurt nibbles, will be debuted with a TV, print and direct mail ad campaign, the company said.

Beech-Nut’s new line will branch out to also include toddler food, company spokespersons said. This addition is part of the company’s strategy to retain parent-consumers past their children’s infancy.

Beech-Nut company officials have said that the product launch will be the biggest in company history. According to a report released by Nielsen Monitor-plus, Beech-Nut spent $4.8 million advertising its baby food line in the United States in 2007. Through June, Beech-Nut has spent $2.3 million on advertising this year, reports said.

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Eagle Snacks plans its own ‘welcome back’ party with contest

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO The new ownership of Eagle Snacks, famous in the 1970s for in-flight honey roasted peanut and pretzel snacks, has announced a return to snack aisles and a sweepstakes featuring a family vacation.

Connecting with the American Eagle Foundation, Eagle Snacks, owned by Reserve Brands snack company, will launch the “The Bald and the Beautiful” sweepstakes where participants are called upon to vote for top bald-headed celebrities and prizes for the sweeps include Eagle Snack products and one family getaway.

Consumers can vote at www.enjoyeagle.com enter by naming a favorite bald celebrity by Nov. 6. Five celebrity finalists will be selected, where one entertainer will be named, after a consumer vote, the official Bald and the Beautiful winner. The top prize includes a trip for one family to Eagle’s Ridge Resort in Tennessee, tickets to Dollywood theme park and other exclusive Eagle gifts.

Chief executive officer of Reserve Brands, Scott Lazar, who acquired the licenses for Eagle Snacks in 2005, has been pitching sales to retailers since 2007. In addition to reintroducing pretzels and honey roasted peanut snacks, Eagle is also launching new items Poppers and Bursts. At press time, around 4,000 stores across the United States have made plans to sell Eagle Snacks.

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