The new healthier version of pioneering low-carb beer, Pure Blonde, is good news for the entire beer category, argues Carlton & United Breweries marketing director, Richard Oppy.
CUB has further reduced the carbohydrate level of Pure Blonde by 30 per cent, making it now 80 per cent lower in carbohydrates than regular beer. Its calorie content has been reduced by a further ten per cent, making it 50 per cent lower in calories than wine per millilitre. It has also been transformed into a “low gluten beer”.
The move comes after the Brewers Association, which represents CUB and the other big brewers, last year acknowledged that the beer category had an image problem. The association’s research found consumers believed beer was “fattening” and “a lot less healthy than wine”.
But Oppy rejected the suggestion that the Pure Blonde approach will simply entrench these beliefs rather than challenging them.
“I think it’s actually highlighting that beer is relatively not that bad for you. When you can use a beer like Pure Blonde to go up against wine, which is perceived by a lot of consumers as a healthier alternative, they’ll see that Pure Blonde actually has 50 per cent less categories than wine,” he told Australian Brews News.
“I think for a lot of people that will be new news and a reason for them to enter the beer category.
“Similar to the way Coke Zero came in and did a job within carbonated soft drinks, providing a healthier alternative, we see Pure Blonde as leading the charge for us in driving a category approach,” Oppy said.
A recent Roy Morgan study claimed that low-carb beer drinkers were actually less concerned about their waistline than the average Australian, but Oppy said CUB’s own findings were very different.
“Consumers today are more conscious of living a healthier lifestyle than they’ve ever been before,” he said.
“You only have to look at the different diets that people are on these days, and actually how open they are are about the diets they’re on. We thought we’d capitalise on that trend and give a reason for people to reappraise Pure Blonde.”