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

How to test Heineken's sense of humour

Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....

BLOG

Which spirits category is the next big thing?

Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....

BLOG

Aperol Spritz - Just the one. A large one?

I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....

BLOG

Boston Beer Co "just plain ugly" for TV money man

Jim Cramer, the excitable host of stock-picker programme Mad Money on CNBC, turned his attention on US brewers last week, attempting to forecast which has the most potential for investors....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?