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06.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnBeerReport

THE BUDWEISER BOWTIE

Talk about taking a giant gamble. Going against a basic principle of product design – “form follows function” – the American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch is experimenting with the packaging of its signature brand Budweiser for the sake of innovation. The company rolled out nationwide a bow tie-shaped aluminum can that echoes Budweiser’s bow tie logo. The new product does not substitute traditional cans and will is available in an 8-pack in the US only. The can might be regarded as the biggest engineering innovation in aluminum packaging over the last few years. It took the brand’s technologists three years to find a fit solution to make the bow tie concept feasible. With this 11.3-once packaging, Budweiser is trying to attract young adults, a new generation of beer drinkers. The launch of the shaped can follows the redesign of the brand’s packaging in 2O11 that emphasized the bow tie, a symbol that first appeared in a national advertising campaign for Budweiser in 1956. While the new whimsy can may please the consumer’s eye and provide some “unexpected” holding experience, the decision to launch it for the sake of “reinvigoration” of the old iconic brand was financially risky, many experts say. Although the amounts of investment in the new production and bottling lines are not officially disclosed, the new can won’t be cheap for consumers either – they get 11 ounces for the price of 12. It will be interesting to see if it catches on. Change can be challenging for consumers to embrace. Both Coke and Maker’s Mark tried it and we all know how that worked out.

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