Bud’s alcohol-free beer continues to be successful
The country’s most famous brewing company, famous for its impressive Clydesdales– launched a non-alcoholic beer. This is, in some ways, a surprising move, but also logical, as the St. Louis-based group wants to compete with flavored waters and portable low-alcohol hard sodas. Budweiser Zero has been on the market for a few months and has had good success. It was created in collaboration with a former basketball player Dwyane Wade, who designed part of the packaging.
While many consumers drink more during Covid, others are looking for low-alcohol or non-alcoholic alternatives, so this entry is a great fit. I recently had the chance to learn more about the brand – and how it competes in the market – by chatting with one of the company’s executives, New York-based Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing. for Budweiser.
All responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Liza B. Zimmerman (LBZ): What made the company decide to launch beer?
Monica Rustgi (MR): The non-alcoholic drink category is growing rapidly and Budweiser Zero brings familiarity and credibility to the category. We hope this will help redefine expectations and pre-existing associations with alcohol-free options.
LBZ: How do you make it taste good when it contains so few calories?
MR: Budweiser has over a century of brewing experience and has never used any artificial flavors, colors or dyes, whether or not they want alcohol, consumers will always taste it. refreshing from Budweiser.
LB.Z. : Does it make sense for a company known for beer to enter the non-alcoholic beverage market?
MR: Absolutely. Budweiser Zero will build on our portfolio of low and mid-strength beers, giving consumers more options. It is also a crucial part of our commitment to “responsible consumption”.
We’ve also seen dozens of new soft drink options hit the market recently, with the popularity of non-alcoholic beer drinks increasing rapidly. There has been increased interest in Millennials in particular, for low-alcohol or non-alcoholic products that can help them maintain a more balanced lifestyle.
LBZ: What other brands does it compete with?
MR: We are considering other non-alcoholic beers such as Heineken 0.0 our competitors, although we also compete with the stigma of the non-alcoholic beer category. We’re trying to help redefine expectations and pre-existing associations with alcohol-free options.
We have seen a strong response to the product and believe it is poised to grow further. While Budweiser Zero hasn’t been on the market for a long time, according to our data, on average where Bud Zero is sold we have sold 0.93 case equivalents per week since the start of the year. Heineken 0.0 has sold 0.83 cash equivalents since the start of the year.
LBZ: Do you plan to launch additional flavors?
MR: Not at the moment.
LBZ: In how many markets have you launched it?
MR: Budweiser Zero is available nationwide and will soon be available in the UK and Canada.
LBZ: Where do you see this beer being consumed?
MR: We consider Budweiser Zero to be a staple in the growing sports world, for athletes and fans alike. Once sporting stadiums regain their former glory, Budweiser Zero will become a staple and become the beer of the fourth quarter and ninth round. Although alcoholic beverages cannot be sold during this time, fans can continue to enjoy Budweiser Zero until the last seconds of the game. Budweiser Zero will also work with other athletes in the future through the game. NBA, NWSL and PGA.
While we view Budweiser Zero as a key part of the sport, it is only one part of how Budweiser Zero will come to life. Our aim is to show that Budweiser Zero not only has its place in the stadium during a sports match, but also on everyday occasions.
For Budweiser Zero, we’ve put together a non-traditional marketing campaign that uses disruptive methods that we hope will shake up the non-alcoholic beer industry as we know it. To start introducing Budweiser Zero to people, we played a key role in the first in-car gigs on the market with Living country and 1st LIVE, allowing people to experience the product and provide context around alcohol-free parties, whatever the occasion. We sampled over 5,000 people at these events and more to come with additional concerts planned throughout the summer.
LBZ: How could consumption be different during the Covid?
MR: While we won’t be attending sporting events or concerts for the foreseeable future, Budweiser Zero can still be enjoyed in your own backyard or after a long day at work.
LBZ: Why did the brand decide to work with Wade?
MR: We started working with Dwyane Wade for the “This bud is for 3” about a year ago and more recently when the Whassup campaign relaunched, so this was a natural progression of our relationship.
Dwyane helped design the main attributes of the product, including packaging, and will be involved in future advertising related to the product. Teaming up with Dwyane Wade brings credibility to the product, especially in the sports world.