As one of America’s iconic brands, Anheuser-Busch remains relevant, but never stagnant.
At a summer barbecue, the cooler is often over-flowing with Anheuser-Busch beverages. From the classic Budweiser to a Bud Light to even a new hard seltzer, like Social Club Seltzer, the variety of beverages under the brand’s umbrella is impressive. Although some people are loyal to one specific beverage, others prefer to sip, sample and savor the variety.
This year, the classic summer gatherings look very different. While it might be fashionable to sip through your mask, the 12 pack might have been replaced with a 6-pack. Still, just because the size of the gathering might be smaller, the importance of celebrating the moment is greater.
Recently, Jake Kirsch, VP Innovation at Anheuser-Busch shared some insights on the iconic beverage brand, the innovations that consumers want and a few beverage suggestions that are perfect for the summer.
Whether it is the powerful Clydesdales, the cry of Dilly Dilly or that friendly Whassup, the various AB beverage brands have integrated themselves into the pop culture collective. Although these moments are etched into people’s memories, the connection between brand and consumer does not end when the clip goes silent.
As people walk down the beverage aisle, those statements and visuals pop into the mind’s eye. But is more than just piquing an interest in popping over another bottle.
Kirsh understands that Anheuser-Busch is connected to the cultural collective. He said, “Now, more than ever, we can only maintain this by putting people first – thinking about ways that we can be relevant for people and their lives. And it also only works when there’s an intersection of what the brand stands for and what people care about.”
This ideal works best when the brand works within an overall lifestyle. As seen with “Michelob ULTRA bringing live-streamed workouts to people at home while providing a lifeline to local fitness studios” or with the “Whassup with a message to check in on buds during lockdown,” it is more than just a refreshing cold beverage. People want and need to feel connected.
This idea even expanded to the launch of the new Social Club Seltzer. With many people struggling professionally, Social Club Seltzer engaged “out of work creatives to help with their launch campaign.”
Regardless of the path, one factor is key. The connection between consumer and brand needs to be meaningful. That concept is always in focus.
Still, Anheuser-Busch needs to listen and adapt to the consumer’s wants and needs. As seen with its at home, virtual events like, Stella Cooking shows, Busch Trivia Night, and Bud Light Dive Bar at Home and more, there are occasions to raise a glass and celebrate the moment.
At the same time, the company is always looking ahead. Kirsch mentioned ideas like “broad variety of packaging solutions to ensure the cleanliness of our products through the point of consumption, and accelerating our innovation pipeline in the value segment and for consumers that prioritize health and wellness” are all part of forward thinking.
Although those business concepts are important to the company, many people are thinking about what beverage to serve. With so many options filling store shelves, it can narrow the focus.
For the summer of 2020, it seems that citrus forward flavors are featured in some of the new offerings. Even though citrus flavors have always been popular, it seems that citrus is having a moment.
According to Kirsch, he believes that this popularity endures because “it provides a refreshing – slightly sweet, slightly tart – backbone.” During the warm summer months, that flavor is the perfect complement.
For example, the Bud Light Lemonade offers that flavor. It blends the light lager with lemonade. In a more lemon forward option, the Natty Daddy Lemonade is a malt beverage that brings that tart, refreshing lemonade with a little fun twist.
With so many options in the Anheuser-Busch portfolio, it is hard for Kirsch to pick one must have beverage this summer. Still, he recommended Mango Bud Light Seltzer because “It’s got incredible flavor but finishes clean, so it pairs well with nearly anything off the grill.”
Also, he thinks that the new Stella Solstice Lager is another great choice. The first ever summer edition has a light citrus taste and is only 105 calories a bottle. Whether it is paired with a classic barbecue meal, some spicy tacos or even a fresh fish, it might be the beverage of the summer.
Even as everyone learns to adapt to the current climate, one thing will always be constant. Anheuser-Busch has and continues to connect with its fans. By listening, responding and delivering what people want, the iconic beverage company will continue to be relevant.
What is your favorite Anheuser-Busch beverage? What beverage will you be serving this summer?