How likely do you think it is that I’ll be celebrating International Beer Day?
Maybe you think I should. Maybe you think I should stop being a killjoy and raise a glass of alcohol free beer.
The thing is I have some scepticism about alcohol free beer and wine. And I am really not sure what the point of alcohol free vodka is!?!
The thing is, the AF offering from the booze giants are what’s technically known as a line extension. It’s a solid strategy that food and drink companies have been using for years. The purpose is to make you consume more of the original product.
If you think about it, Coke will only be able to take up so much shelf space. No matter how popular it is it can’t fill the soft drink aisle. But if they release Cherry Coke, they can take up a little more space and crowd out Pepsi just a little bit. And then maybe they’ll think of other flavours, Mango-Banana-Chocolate-Chilli Coke anyone?
Obviously, no one really buys the line extension, the purpose is to increase brand visibility.
If I’m feeling cynical, I’d have to point out that this is what the alco-giants are doing with zero alcohol beer.
They increase the visibility of the original brand. Worse than that, by advertising the AF version, these huge companies can pretend they are doing something about all of the problems that they have helped to cause in society.
They’re saying, “Look at us, we’re promoting alcohol free alternatives,” when they’re really just promoting their original product.
Look, if you are going to drink less because of AF drinks, then great, I’ll support you.
But at the same time, I feel honour bound to point out that alcohol free line extensions are an unsubtle and cynical attempt to sell more poison.