Guest Post: The growth of the premium beer market

Photo credit: Foster's Beer

*Many thanks to article author Sarah Johnsson for writing this guest post.

Since the turn of the millennium there has been a gradual trend towards the appearance of more premium beers. It’s a term that is a little tricky to define. Some would say that it’s an indication of the strength of the beer – and that premium beer has a higher alcoholic content than light or regular beer. Others would argue that it’s just a marketing ploy, and a way of selling beer at a higher price.

According to research undertaken in 2007 by the drinks industry website www.just-drinks.com the global premium beer market was due to grow by about 60% between 2006 and 2013.

One of the latest companies to bring out a premium beer is Foster’s. Foster’s Gold is a 4.8% premium beer that’s sold in clear glass bottles with an embossed logo. The paper labelling has been kept deliberately minimal. Foster’s Gold has been aimed at male consumers in their early twenties, but the hope is that it will rival Budweiser and Stella Artois and become an accepted drink for mixed sex social groups.

Foster’s Gold was launched in August 2011, but the ad campaign kicked off in March this year, with the launch ad starring Holly Valance alongside Foster’s front men Brad and Dan at a posh cocktail party with Sydney Opera House in the background. For those of you who are familiar with Brad and Dan from the Foster’s good call ads, you’ll know that they’re more often seen in a shack on a beach enjoying a cold can of Foster’s regular brew.

This Fosters ad was a bit of a departure. The boys were in their usual beach wear attire, but Holly was in a smart dress. She saunters over to them and asks them how they get away without “frocking up” for this kind of evening event. Simple, the boys explain, you just need to read the small print. They show her the invite which says dress should be smart casual. Holly looks a little perplexed as there’s nothing particularly smart about the boys’ appearance, it’s just casual.

To explain, Brad points out his smart belt and Dan points out the bottle of Foster’s Gold in his hand. Holly thanks them for the advice and walks off. As she leaves, Dan wonders wistfully how she might repay them for their help. Brad simply says: “That thing you’re thinking – it won’t be that!”

Whether the new ads will make a difference to Foster’s sales of their new premium beer, we’ll have to wait and see, but they’re entertaining to watch, at least!

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