By Jordan Valinsky, NCS Business

The latest model of Bud Light is even lighter.

Anheuser-Busch has introduced the launch of Bud Light Next, the firm’s first-ever zero-carb beer. The beverage, which hits cabinets in early 2022, comes as health-conscious customers have gravitated towards gentle beers in recent times — and beer usually is in the center of a big resurgence.

Bud Light Next is the “next generation of light beer for the next generation of beer drinkers,” mentioned Andy Goeler, vp of selling for Bud Light. He informed NCS Business in an unique interview that the new beer is geared toward youthful shoppers, corresponding to Generation Z, who’re in search of out the comparable dietary make-up of onerous seltzer and the taste of beer.

Cutting out carbs has change into more and more well-liked over the years due to numerous food plan tendencies and altering shopper habits. The market, significantly for beer, has been flooded with low-carb varieties, however Anheuser-Busch is the first main brewer to launch a zero-carb beer.

“Today’s consumers have got options of low calorie and low carb products, this is another entry to have something that goes all the way to zero carbs,” Goeler mentioned. “It’s a big consumer trend we see across many consumer industries.”

Goeler mentioned that growing Bud Light Next took round a decade with roughly 130 prototypes created earlier than touchdown on the right concoction. Internally, the course of was known as “Project Impossible” and the finish product is a “major step for us,” he mentioned.

A 12-ounce serving of Bud Light Next is 4% alcohol-by-volume and 80 energy. That’s 30 fewer energy and about the similar quantity of alcohol-by-volume in comparison with Bud Light. However, Bud Light has 6.6 grams of carbs in a 12-ounce serving. Many different low-carb beers presently on sale have half that quantity of carbs.

The style of Bud Light Next, in accordance with Goeler, is “light, refreshing and clean” with a touch of citrus. It can be bought in 6-packs and 12-packs in each bottles and cans and price barely greater than Bud Light.

Bud Light Next is a part of the model’s effort to maintain “evolving and innovating” for various drinkers, Goeler mentioned. He pointed towards the profitable launch of Bud Light Seltzer and fruit-flavored Bud Light. “This is another pillar in providing the right products for the right consumers,” he mentioned.

Launching a brand new beer in the crowded market is dangerous, so the firm is employing the same strategy it used with Bud Light Seltzer by attaching the beer to the Bud Light banner. He added that the new beer additionally helps Bud Light pivot from “the light beer to the light brand,” just like how Natural Light (additionally owned by Anheuser-Busch) is moving beyond beer into boozy popsicles and flavored vodkas.

Beer gross sales had been declining for a lot of the previous decade, however the pandemic has largely reversed that development. Americans now are reaching for beer due to its affordability, model familiarity and product improvements which have reignited curiosity. Nielsen mentioned that retail gross sales of beer soared 8.6% final 12 months, totaling $40 billion. In explicit, gentle beer gross sales jumped 5% to $10.6 billion due to the recognition of seltzers and low-carb beers.

Michelob Ultra has change into a vibrant spot for Anheuser-Busch due to its low-carb choices. The model “continued to outperform” the firm’s different beers, in accordance with a latest earnings name. However Goeler mentioned he doesn’t anticipate Bud Light Next to cannibalize into Michelob Ultra’s success as a result of will probably be promoted with a “different vibe” from Michelob Ultra’s place as a life-style model geared towards energetic individuals.

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