21.4.03

GIVE THAT MAN A BLUE RIBBON. New business model: offer an unpretentious product and make no special effort to promote it to the demographic that likes it. Seems to work for Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Milwaukee (??!??), goes this Bret Schulte (whose yuppie baggage is showing) report (via Volokh.) Funnily, Pabst, along with Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Old Style, Stroh's, and in a fine twist, Pabst, are all produced using excess capacity at Miller Brewing. Ah, how things change. ("Seniors, seniors, what's your cry?" "PBR, the best by far!" That one, from the class of '70, made it past the administration. My class of '71 got censored.) At one time, Schlitz was the national #2 everywhere except in Milwaukee, where Pabst was the top seller. Old Milwaukee was Schlitz's excess capacity (same chemically enhanced swill, different label, different price.) Blatz remained an independent after the Justice Department found Pabst's acquisition of Blatz to be contrary to the Clayton Act. In those pre-Hart-Scott-Rodino days, that meant what was left of Blatz (a label, some beer trucks, and a marching band) had to be sold to some other company, in this case Heileman. Stroh? An auslander product from some dirty river town with a good baseball team.

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