Since the 2019 Super Bowl, Bud Light has been under some scrutiny for their most recent ad campaign. Labeled as “Corn-gate,” or “Corn-troversy,” by the media and folks in the beer world, America’s favorite light lager is in the spotlight. And while facets of the campaign did use competitive tactics to position the brand ahead of its competition, is what Bud Light did really so controversial?
It is known that the average consumer is caring more and more about what they absorb. From non-toxic make-up and beauty products, to essential oil-based cleaners and candles, every consumer product is being evaluated. So why not beer?
Consumers are already proving that beer will not escape these trends. After all, Michelob Ultra, known for being low in calories and carbohydrates, is the fastest growing beer brand in the country. The brand continues to seek health conscious consumers with Pure Gold – a USDA certified organic light lager.
Research shows that consumers hold retailers accountable for the journey toward health and wellness. That means, grocery stores and restaurants are responsible to provide products that contribute toward a healthy and natural lifestyle. It is important that grocery stores carry a variety of products that can contribute towards a healthy lifestyle. And in order for grocery stores to carry these products, they have to exist. And once the products exist, they have to stand out to consumers in a way that is simple, clear, and appealing – cue manufacturers, and in our case, brewers.
Enter in the Bud Light ingredients campaign. Bud Light, the largest and most popular beer brand in America, is setting the pace in generating transparency for its consumer. Recognizing a competitive difference in their product compared to others in their category (the absence of corn syrup,) Bud Light decided to let their consumers in on what they may not have known. For years, consumers have been beaten over the head with warnings about high fructose corn syrup. And while there is a difference in traditional corn syrup that is found in beer, consumers are afraid of added sugars- and for good reason. So Bud Light is putting those fears to rest in a way that is simple, clear and appealing: they have added a massive ingredient label to their beer to reveal that Bud Light is brewed with four simple ingredients.
This may not seem revolutionary. But what you probably didn’t know is that Bud Light is the first “Big Beer” brand to allow consumers to know what ingredients are in their beer. At a grocery store, today’s consumer picks up a large percentage of their food items and compare nutrition labels. And a lot of them will choose the product with ingredients they recognize. Why would Bud Light not make this move? The transparency they are offering their consumer isn’t novel from a product perspective, but it will be revolutionary for the world of beer.