The Hightower Report
Global beer giant dances the can-can
Anyone who says that America has lost its innovative edge in technology and manufacturing has not chugged a can of Bud recently. The buzz is back, baby!
Well, actually, Budweiser is no longer American. It's now a Belgian outfit, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest maker of suds. But picky-picky. The brew crew overseeing the "King of Beers" know what we American quaffers want in a can of beer – a new and improved can.
Yes, says the "vice president of innovation" at Budweiser, "We're consciously working to bring innovation to the packaging side" of the beer market. He explains that you "trend seekers" are on the make for "new things," so the corporation's container-shapers have devised a "bow-tie" can that kinks inward in the middle. How exciting is that?! Plus – get ready to bust your beer gut – there are 8.5 fewer calories in the new can. How did they manage that? By magic – which is to say "trickery."
The bow-tie design allows the multibillion-dollar brew kings to short you by putting almost an ounce less of beer per can than you got in the old standard 12-ouncer. But, come on, we experienced hoisters of the brewer's art will definitely feel that loss of product, so they can't fool us into paying more for less.
Well, that's where their innovative genius trumps our consumer instincts. To keep us off balance, InBev's bow-tie can has nearly double the amount of aluminum of its regular can, making the new feel just as heavy as the old. Less beer, more metal – that's heavy innovation, my friends.
Oh, one more innovative twist. In case some of you trend seekers try to compare ounces in the new six-packs, you'll find that the bow-tie cans only come in eight-packs. Gotcha again!
If you want honest beer, try the craft brews at your local pub or store.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.