Thinning Crowd at the Bar
During the pandemic, amid stay-at-home orders and shuttered bars, people drank at home. Once restrictions were lifted, Americans returned en masse to bars and restaurants, enjoying regained freedom and indulging in the pent-up demand to socialize.
Now, the tide has ebbed again. Feeling their wallets squeezed by inflation, many consumers have retreated to their homes to drink and dine. A survey conducted by Ipsos found more people had increasingly been — and planned to continue — eating at home.
In response to this trend, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which makes 25% of beers sold globally, is shifting its marketing strategy.
The brewing giant is eyeing a more customized approach to selling its products, with an emphasis on meeting consumers where they’re at. More and more, this means at home.
The company intends to impress on consumers that beer is an integral part of the meal, as well as a social magnet. Company officials note Americans currently consume more than half their meals alone. They hope Anheuser-Busch beer can bring these people back together.
To this end, consumers will likely see an influx in ads that pairs beer with food, as Anheuser-Busch partners with companies like Instacart to spread its message.
Comfort and Convenience
Along with Instacart, Anheuser-Busch will partner with Netflix (NFLX), a relatively recent player in the digital advertising space. The brewer believes enjoying a beer while watching a movie at home fits well with Americans’ current preferences and budget. These partnerships will go public in classic beer company fashion — with a Super Bowl ad.
Consumers will also see more of the company’s products packaged as convenience items, such as premixed drinks. The company is gaining traction with its Cutwater cocktail in a can — no need to mix ingredients yourself, just open and pour over ice.
So, even as the tides change, the party goes on — at a reduced cost, from the comfort of home.
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