Blog: Chris Brook-CarterThe light fantastic?

Chris Brook-Carter | 20 August 2003

No doubt all of you will be monitoring your frequencies diligently after hearing this news, but I am being interviewed by BBC radio today for a news piece on the launch of a low calorie beer in the UK - specifically Michelob Ultra.

The move comes two years after owners Anheuser-Busch pulled Bud Light from the UK market after disappointing sales. Earlier this year Coors was forced to pull its Light beer from UK shelves also.

Although these kinds of beers have been a huge success in the US, past experience proves the difficulties brewers face in launching a low-calorie beer in the UK. Will Michelob be able to succeed where others have so clearly failed?

It seems unlikely that British drinking culture will have changed in so little time. Having said that, the US brewers clearly believe there is potential there - Coors is planning to relaunch Coors Light. The growth in popularity of the controversial, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet in the UK suggests there is an audience for low-carb beverages out there.

Unfortunately the core UK lager drinker is not often your archetypal calorie counting dieter as well. There will need to be a serious shift in attitude among UK consumers if this is to be a success.
The serious issue aside, it was interesting to see the marketing campaign for Ultra will not be adopting the US's "Drop the Carbs" slogan because research found that British consumers saw "carbs" as "crabs" - an unfortunate word association.

BLOG

Putin's Coca-Cola dig misses the mark

The Coca-Cola Co has had its fair share of critics this year, from health campaigners to investor David Winters, who this week called for CEO Muhtar Kent to be replaced....

BLOG

Season of goodwill? Not if you're the UK health lobby

The UK health lobby is always very vocal on alcohol at this time of year, predictably so, and this year is no different. ...

BLOG

Carlsberg builds new life from Copenhagen brewery

“Ah, yes, you've hit upon a very sensitive area,” says Thomas, my guide at the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen last Friday....

BLOG

Scotch whisky firms learn the value of leftovers

Experimentation has long been a watchword in the Scotch whisky industry. It is what has given consumers the huge range of ageing options, from refill hogsheads to virgin oak to Sherry butts....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?