- Budweiser is re-releasing a lineup of patriotic packaging this summer to help raise money for armed forces members and their families, according to the company. Up to $1 million in proceeds from the patriotic products sold through May 29 will go toward Folds of Honor, a non-profit helping provide scholarships to families of fallen and disabled soldiers. “Our goal is to remind Budweiser drinkers of the courage and sacrifice made by all American service men and women who protect our nation and our freedoms,” said Ricardo Marques, a Budweiser vice president.
- The military-inspired bottles contain the word "America" in place of where “Budweiser” usually sits. There also is a new bottle in camouflage. The bottles also feature the U.S. motto, “E Pluribus Unum” and lyrics to the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
- The Budweiser design was controversial when it launched in 2016 because the beer is brewed in the U.S. while the parent company AB InBev is based in Belgium.
With the current political climate, this seems like a smart move by the beer company to remind people of the Red, White and Blue and what America stands for. In addition, the upcoming Memorial Day holiday unofficially kicks off the summer season — a time of the year that brings out a renewed sense of patriotism for many people.
When it was first released, the idea was criticized by some groups, but there are lots of products that champion America and find success. Tying a charitable donation to the move will probably halt any of that same criticism this time around. Honoring the sacrifice of servicemen and women becomes more important every year, and a patriotic effort seems like a good idea.
Label overhauls are often an effective way to increase sales. Coca-Cola started its "Share a Coke" campaign in 2011 where people could personalize the beverage with their name, and in 2014 saw an increase in sales after it ran it in the U.S. Nestle's Lean Cuisine redesign helped drive a sales increase of $58 million in the following year.
If nothing else, redesigning the label is a good way for Budweiser to standout in a sector where the beer giants themselves and the once scrappy upstart craft breweries are fighting for limited shelf space and taps at places that serve their brews. Consumers may be drawn to the cool design, as well as the patriotic message it communicates.