Budweiser led that shift, and now Heineken follows up in its Benicio del Toro spokesperson campaign. And like Budweiser, the Dutch beer not only promotes its beer recipe, but goes a step further to tweak the preciousness of the craft-beer fascination with odd taste additives in beer. The suggestion? Real beer doesn't have fruit flavors added.
Call it "No pumpkin-peach ale, Dutch style."
It seems we're seeing BigBeer employ a bit of marketing jiu jitsu, flipping craft beer's penchant for odd, non-tradtional flavorings into a weakness. In Heineken's view, over-flavoring can't compare to a beer with "just three ingredients." In this, the Dutch brewer is adding its brand voice to Budweiser's "no pumpkin-peach ale" riff.
For years, craft brewers took competitive shots--frequently nasty, often untrue--at BigBeer with impunity. After all, they were the Davids slinging stone after stone at the dozing Goliaths of the beer business.
Turns out, those giants woke up. And it seems they've got a few boulders to hurl back.
*More recent comparable 4-week number is +2%.