Heineken sales sank 18% from the previous year in grocery, convenience and drug stores during the two-week period ended July 5, followed by Budweiser at 14%. Corona Extra sales dropped 11%, while Miller Lite declined 9% and Bud Light fell 7%. Coors Light sales held up better, falling less than 1% from a year ago.Ad Age adds (amusingly):
Meanwhile, sales of “subpremium” beers including Busch, Natural Light and Keystone posted “substantial gains”, according to Ad Age, which didn’t provide the specifics.
But while the economy is clearly dragging on the biggest beer brands, the severity of the declines also raises questions about the effectiveness of some of the category's biggest ad budgets. The decline at Bud Light comes as the brand is nine months into its "Drinkability" effort, designed to give the beer a more product-attribute-fueled push than its former frat-humor efforts did.Gee, I wonder why those ad campaigns have failed to sway drinkers. It couldn't be because, you know, since all tin-can beer tastes the same, customers are buying the cheapest stuff. Nah, couldn't be that.
Miller Lite has tried to pound its "Great Taste" to sales gains in the same manner its new stable mate Coors Light succeeded with a single-minded focus on "Rocky Mountain cold refreshment." But that effort, too, has yet to gain traction.