Thursday, November 06, 2008
There's a scene in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? in which George Clooney's character says, "Hard times flushes the chumps." America has been suffering through some hard times as of late. And there're indeed some chumps who've been flushed out, mainly of the beer-drinking variety. To wit:
As the economy continues to spiral downward, more and more beer drinkers are trading down to the High Life.
Sales of the cheap brew ironically dubbed the "Champagne of Beers" popped 6.5% during the four weeks ended Oct. 7, according to Information Resources Inc. Another MillerCoors bottom-shelf brand, Keystone, grew 11.2% during the same period. The two largest below-premium beer brands, Anheuser-Busch's Busch and Natural Light, have also seen upticks in sales.
Both IRI and Nielsen data show that the entire subpremium segment has been attracting more of consumers' beer money. That's a development the industry is less than thrilled with, since those sales appear to be coming at the expense of more-expensive, higher-margin beers.
If there ever comes a day when the only beer I can afford is Keystone, Busch or Natural Light ... well, I'm gonna stop drinking beer. Indeed.