Anheuser-Busch is axing its Roscoe’s Red premium bottled red lager. The decision marks what is thought to be its first product failure in the UK market.
The US import was introduced in Scotland two years ago with a marketing budget of more than 1m, then rolled out across England last summer. A major promotional campaign was planned for the brand this year.
Since launching Budweiser in the UK in the mid-Eighties, Anheuser has been one of the most successful players in the premium packaged lager (PPL) sector. New introductions, such as Michelob Gold and Bud Ice, have also achieved success in the PPL sector.
The UK launch of Roscoe’s
Red was an attempt to replicate its success in the US, where bottled red beer is one of the fastest growing sectors.
But a spokeswoman for Anheuser says: “There is not really a high demand for Roscoe’s Red in the UK, and we are not making a big thing of it.” She says that there are still some supplies of the brand available but these will dry up as the brand is withdrawn.
The company launched Roscoe’s Red with a campaign through agency BMP DDB, using posters, radio and bus-sides and the slogan “Brewed for the man of the Nineties – the 1890s”.
Anheuser is focusing on the March launch of Bud Light, a low-calorie version of the Budweiser brand which the company says is aimed at “health-conscious consumers”. It is also preparing for Budweiser’s sponsorship of the World Cup in France this summer.