Monday, December 05, 2005


Longtime readers will know of our interest in (and dubious attitude to) the marketing strategies of multinational alcohol conglomerates. So we suppose it's somewhat refreshing to read (in the Wall Street Journal, subs. req'd) about a chief executive of one such company who admits to not understanding why consumers like one of his products; the company being Scottish and Newcastle and the product being Foster's Super Chilled (they own the European rights):

And the brewer whose identity was once built around warm English ale now has an ad campaign for Foster's Super Chilled lager that asks, "Well, you wouldn't want a warm beer, would you?"

"Why Europeans would want to drink beer cold in this weather, I have no idea," Mr. Froggatt [CEO] jokes. "But they really do."

This is a debate that we had noted a while back in connection with the existence of Guinness Extra Cold, the consensus amongst the purists being that it's for people who don't actually like the taste of beer -- the extra chilling removes the taste.

Also noteworthy is their main American success story:

Meanwhile, sales of Scottish & Newcastle's main export to America, Newcastle Brown Ale, have been growing by 10% annually. A marketing campaign with rock bands like Green Day has helped make it fashionable among younger drinkers.

One wonders if Green Day's adoption of an English punk pose (not to mention The Who-style ambition of American Idiot) has created this niche for them as intermediaries. Our own suggestion to the marketers looking to boost the cachet of English beer in the USA -- create a trend of pairing the pint with salt and vinegar crisps (the traditional, artifically flavoured ones).

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