Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Oh, good heavens
7-Eleven is branching out from the Big Gulp® to what will no doubt be big gulps of beer-flavored water:
This week, convenience-store chain 7-Eleven announced it would begin carrying its own budget brand of beers, dubbed Game Day. The news made me do a double take, nearly causing me spit out the sublimely hoppy Stone IPA I was drinking. Was 7-Eleven angling to be my low-cost craft-beer salvation?
Mmm...not exactly. As expected, the decision was driven less by a desire to sell great brews than the bottom line. Beer purchases in convenience stores dipped 4 percent last year, according to research group SymphonyIRI -- nearly double domestic beer sales' 2.2 percent decline.
But the silver lining is that purchases of sub-premium beers (Keystone Light, Natural Light) actually ticked up. Customers haven't stopped drinking. They just want to pay less for a buzz.
Look, if 7-Eleven's beer tastes 50 percent better than Keystone or Natural Light, it'll still taste like crap. And I won't be trying it.