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USA. How Miller Lite Killed The Beer Industry

Why has per-capita consumption of beer in the past three decades declined some 15%?

It was the 1975 national rollout of Lite beer. "Everything you always wanted in a beer. And less."

Logic suggests that light beer should have increased the beer market. Joe Sixpack could now drink ore beer, not less, because light beer didn't fill you up as much. Furthermore, light beer should have broadened the market, especially among women.

It didn't happen. Because logic has nothing to do with marketing. Broadening a category dilutes it, making it seem less authentic, less desirable.

In other words, Lite beer made the entire category seem lame. Ries brings up beer in a discussion of product diversification and declining sales at Burger King.

We looked up a report by the Beer Institute to confirm the decline of beer drinking after the 1975 debut of Miller Lite.

chart

6 Sep. 2011

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