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Beer under attack

November 2, 2004

Demographic trends seem to be favoring the growth of wine. As Baby-Boomers age, more and more of them are shifting to wine. This trend is apparent in both the US and UK markets.

In the UK, the shift to wine is even more pronounced, with beer consumption falling by 20% in the last 25 years, with wine drinking growing by 260%. The problem is one of image; it is increasingly being associated with “beer bellies” and “lager louts”. Wine offers an alternative image, one that’s classy, stylish and linked to great cuisine. Wine has a maturity and gravitas, that’s making it more desirable than beer.

UK beer’s negative image problems are unlikely to cross the Atlantic. US brewers have used smart marketing to ingraine themselves into the psyche of American culture, creating a “mental frame” that will be hard to break. However, unless brewers attack the problems of flagging sex appeal for young drinkers and develop richer, more sophisticated brews for Baby Boomers, they could be in for tougher times.

Is Bud still the king?

One example of a brewer’s attempt to get cool is Heineken’s recently announced move into TV programming with the cable network, Spike. However, at Influx, we have to question if dance music, DJs and clubs truly represent the cultural edge.

Heineken ‘s deal with Spike

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