Pure Blonde beer is rightly tapping the re-surging consumer attitude towards healthy lifestyle and low carbohydrate diet. Its new marketing campaign “6KM for a six-pack” has captured the attention of “alcohol and fitness aficionados”.
Image Source: (Facebook, 2016)
The re-invented Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb Lager beer has 30 percent less carbs than the original Pure Blonde beer. It claims to have 80 and 50 percent lower carbs as compared to other average beer and wine per ml respectively. (Pini, 2016)
The new innovative move is to attract new drinkers, especially women. The beer has created unrivalled sub-category of it’s own- ‘ultra low carb beer’. At the same time, they affirm to have managed to retain old popular flavor of Pure Blonde which is cherished by its existing consumer. (Pini, 2016) Although consumer responses on social media platforms portray a different story altogether.
Image Source: (Facebook, 2016)
The change in taste might be a result of reduced alcohol. The new beer has 4.2 percent alcohol as compared to the older one which had 4.6 percent. (“Five things about … CUB’s Pure Blonde”, 2015). One of the consumer describes taste of the new beer as “effervescent cardboard”. This is a classic example of consumer preference of consistency over change.
Victoria Bitter made a similar attempt in 2009 by decreasing the alcoholic content to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent. This decision was made by the company to decrease excise tax and keep price affordable for the consumers. However, this didn’t go very well. The sales of the beer slumped to a new low and finally in 2012 they had to revert to their original recipe. The company then also absorbed excise tax to keep prices for the buyer same. (“VB back to full strength”, 2012)
Image Source: (Macleod, 2012)
Too little, too late?
The preference of beer has been declining rapidly. As per Forbes in 1993 around 71% of the 18-29-year-old population chose beer as their favorite alcoholic drink. In 2013, only 41% made the same choice while in 2014 it increased slightly to 48%. The sales of beer have been dampened by health trend and shift to harder alcohol and wine. (Forbes, 2016)
If we look at the preference for alcoholic beverages among female population in Australia we note that there is a steady increase in demand for bottled wine. At the same time preference for Ready To Drink (RTD) alcoholic beverage in both can and bottle are increasing at a decreasing rate. On the other hand, preference for low strength beer has been plummeting. The preference for full strength beer has taken a U-turn and has been increasing. We can safely make an assumption that women who previously preferred low strength beer are now preferring bottled wine instead. (Key Trends in Alcohol Consumption, 2007)
If we look at Australian low carb beer brand market share by Nielsen, we note that Pure Blonde has approximately 60% market share. It is followed by Carlton Premium Dry and Hahn Super Dry with approximately 16% and 15% market share. The question is whether Carlton United Breweries (CUB) wants Pure Blonde to be simply ‘cash cow’ by competing in the existing market or a ‘star’ with a blue ocean strategy by creating its own sub-category of beer.
But at such a stage where entire beer industry overall is losing its ground and there is a shift in women alcohol taste and preferences, only consumer and time can decide the fate of this new beer. Is this attempt by CUB too little, too late?
Nevertheless, the new TV commercial of Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb is compelling.
Video Source: (“Pure Blonde – Less Calories TV”, 2016)
Let us know what you think of this new beer!
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List of references:
Facebook. (2016). Facebook.com. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from https://www.facebook.com/PureBlonde/photos/a.10150168268097899.310326.12682852898/10153587748842899/?type=3&theater
Five things about â€¦ CUBâ€™s Pure Blonde. (2015). BEER IS YOUR FRIEND. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://beerisyourfriend.org/2015/08/09/five-things-about-pure-blonde/
Forbes Welcome. (2016). Forbes.com. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/06/29/does-the-declining-u-s-beer-trend-spell-doom-for-brewers/#5cf0efc37887
Key Trends in Alcohol Consumption. (2007) (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/09C94C0F1B9799F5CA2574DD0081E770/$File/alcohol-2.pdf
Macleod, D. (2012). Victoria Bitter back with Hard Earned Thirst – The Inspiration Room. The Inspiration Room. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2012/victoria-bitter-back-with-hard-earned-thirst/
Pini, A. (2016). CUB Reinvents Category with Rerelease of Pure Blonde. drinks bulletin. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://drinksbulletin.com.au/2015/07/cub-reinvents-category-with-rerelease-of-pure-blonde/
Pure Blonde are exchanging 6km runs for six packs… of beer – Techly. (2015). Techly. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://www.techly.com.au/2015/09/25/pure-blonde-exchanging-6km-runs-six-packs-beer/
VB back to full strength. (2012). The Age. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/vb-back-to-full-strength-20120904-25c72.html
Pure Blonde – Less Calories TV. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 3 April 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNw_S9nEjDA