Chris Mercer

Coors Light unseats King Bud

By: Chris Mercer - 11 January 2012 18:23

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Coors Light has achieved its expected coup in the US by knocking Budweiser off its perch as the second biggest selling beer in the country.

SABMiller's CEO, Graham Mackay, confirmed to just-drinks last year that this was on the cards. It has now come to pass, according to Beer Marketer's Insights, which this week put Coors Light 0.5m barrels ahead of Budweiser for calendar 2011.

No doubt there will be a few celebratory beers at MillerCoors HQ. Beer Marketer's Insights estimates that Budweiser - self-styled the King of Beers - lost 4.6% of volume last year. Coors Light, meanwhile, picked up 0.8% of volume.

Not exactly stellar figures, and reflective of weak mainstream beer sales in the US. It would be understandable to compare the tussle to a boxing match on a sinking boat. Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light, meanwhile, remains, ahem, light years ahead of its nearest rival.

But, there is a certain amount of symbolism and prestige at stake for MillerCoors, not to mention bragger's rights with distributors. 

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