Website design By BotEap.comYour perfect beer is the perfect combination of barley, hops, yeast, and water. A light beer is the result of compromises. Website design By BotEap.comAnheuser-Busch InBev is betting that American beer consumers will compromise and make Bud Light Next, a no-carb beer, a winner. Interestingly, it still has a lot of calories. The premise of this bet is that a segment of beer consumers is interested in reducing calorie intake through carbohydrate reduction. At 4% alcohol (ABV), the effort is a bit confusing. After 130 iterations and a decade, Anheuser-Busch believes they have achieved the holy grail by cutting carbs in their new beer. Website design By BotEap.com“Bud Light Next is the next generation of light beer for the next generation of beer drinkers,” said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light. The question that arises is: Do consumers focus solely on low carbohydrates or calories, regardless of the calorie source? Low or no carbohydrates is only one part of achieving a low calorie goal. Website design By BotEap.comThe motivation to consume beer in the “light” (low carb) or “no alcohol” category is primarily motivated by diet issues. No matter what we eat, weight control is a function of alcohol, carbohydrates, and calories from sweets / cheeses / processed meats, etc. Carbohydrates and alcohol account for the majority of the calories in beer. For example, Weight Watchers’ approach to weight management is to limit calories and the Atkins diet’s approach is to limit carbohydrates specifically. Choose from starches, sugars, or alcohol. Website design By BotEap.com“Today’s consumers have low-calorie, low-carb product options, this is another entry for something that goes down to zero carbs,” Goeler said. “It’s a huge consumer trend that we see in a lot of consumer industries.” According to Calories.info, “An alcoholic beverage, made from fermented grains, beer has calories from both alcohol and carbohydrates.” Website design By BotEap.comStarch / carbohydrate sources are attributed to bread, potatoes, rice, barley, fruit, and pasta; just specifically, when fermented, it converts starch into sugars for the yeast to produce alcohol. High-calorie foods include peanut butter, candy bars, cheese, processed meats, fats, and raw sugar. Website design By BotEap.comTrying to keep it simple, think of it this way: “Carbohydrates generally refer to foods high in starch or sugar. Carbohydrates always contain calories (4 per gram), but calories do not necessarily indicate carbohydrates,” as stated in the article. : “Calories vs carbohydrates”. Diffen.com. Diffen LLC. Website design By BotEap.comBut is the beer market becoming too segmented? Selecting a beer based on carbohydrates, calories, or alcohol can be challenging because the calories in beer are affected by a host of factors, including style. And style dictates carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol, and protein in beers. All this for a beer with great flavor and aromas. Note: Residual sugars in beer after fermentation can be approximately 75%. Website design By BotEap.comThe lowest calorie beer, so far, has been Bud Select 55 with fifty-five calories, 2.5% ABV, and 1.9 carbs. (With 1.9 g that contributes around seven calories to the beer). So why has Anheuser-Busch gone to great lengths for another beer that contains alcohol, calories, and protein, but no carbohydrates? It seems that the decision is based on marketing issues. Website design By BotEap.comLeaf Nutrisystem conducted a survey asking beer consumers what they were looking for in a beer. Taste (85%) was way ahead of price and style considerations when choosing a beer. Obviously, style dictates taste. The three components of beer style that impact taste / flavor are grain / malted, hops, and yeast. This generates questions and comments:
- Website design By BotEap.comIf consumers are interested in the taste of beer and grains impact flavor just like hops, then why would Anheuser-Busch dive headfirst into the “no carb” category? The grain is the largest contributor to flavor through the malted grain. If grains are an important consideration in the carbohydrates and flavor profile of beers, why play drastically with the grain bill (the largest contributor to carbohydrates) and not drastically impact calories?
- Website design By BotEap.comCutting back on carbs will cut the calories in a beer. However, one gram of carbohydrates adds four calories to a beer and one gram of alcohol translates to 6.9 calories. If a person strives to consume fewer calories in their beer, while placing great importance on taste / mouthfeel, it appears that the only course of action is to “compromise” a recipe to juggle calories through carbohydrates and alcohol.