retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that Anheuser-Busch InBev is being sued by beer drinkers in three states who are saying that the brewer is watering down ten of its brands - bringing its alcohol content down from eight percent to three percent - as a way of cutting costs.

According to the story, "The lawsuits, filed in the last week in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said the brewing giant cheated consumers by listing a higher alcohol content than the beers actually contained.

"Ten Anheuser-Busch products were named in the lawsuits: Budweiser, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.

"Former employees at the company’s 13 breweries -- including some in high-level positions -- are cooperating with the plaintiffs, said San Rafael, Calif., lawyer Josh Boxer, the lead attorney in the case."

A-B says the charges are "groundless" and that it is not mislabeling its beers as having a higher alcohol content than they actually do.
KC's View:
I'm not ready to believe that A-B has done this, and you would think that the charge could be easily proven or disproven with a simple lab test. I find it hard to accept that A-B would do anything like this that would fundamentally undermine its brand equity.

Though I might have said the same thing a few weeks ago about Maker's Mark...