Michelob Ultra has been tailor-made for beer drinkers that are health conscious, or just want a drink that sits a little lighter. They’ve aimed their marketing toward millennials and sports athletes who are decidedly conscious about what they put into their bodies. Ultimately, it’s made for some very loyal customers. In an effort to become sustainable, they’ve released a new “Pure Gold” edition made with organic grains.
The Michelob Ultra brand, owned by Anheuser Busch, was created back in 2002 and promoted beer that was less filling. “Pure Gold” is an organic version that doesn’t have any artificial coloring or flavor and each bottle has 85 calories, 10 less than the standard. Its 2.5 grams of total carbohydrates remains the same.
Packaging is also environmentally conscious, and it’s received a stamp of approval from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. According to the press release, their certification is a way to “promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water, quality, biodiversity, wild habitat, [and] species at risk.”
"We're proud to be a brand for consumers who balance their healthy, active lifestyles while also being able to enjoy beer,” vice president Azania Andrews said in a press release. “We know organic ingredients are important, and with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold we're able to provide a new beer with a unique golden look and taste.”
The new beer is expected to fit right in with high-end stores that sell organic products like Whole Foods. It also continues a trend of major corporations that are promoting organic food and drink, removing artificial ingredients from their products, and looking at plant-based alternatives. Anheuser Busch acquired HiBall last summer, who distributes an organic energy drink, but this is their first beer that enters the organic marketplace.
Anheuser Busch hopes that Michelob Ultra Pure Gold continues the solid sales streak for their brand. While flagship beers like Budweiser have dipped (though Bud Light remains the top-selling beer in 2017), Michelob Ultra has seen growth in market share for two and a half years.
Kelly Slater, an 11-time World Surf League champion, will be the lead spokesperson for Michelob Ultra Pure Gold marketing. Similar to the standard brand, the organic version will attempt to tap into the sports market. While athletes and beer doesn’t seem to mix, there’s actually been a link nonalcoholic beer having health benefits as a recovery drink.
Pure Gold may not be able to help athletes recover, but it looks to be a good option for them when they’re ready to enjoy some beer. The newly released beer has been in stores since Monday. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see other beer companies follow with their own sustainable alcoholic products in the near future.