Budweiser may shy away from corn syrup in its recipes, but it’s happily partnering with a corn-fed meat brand Coleman Natural on a new line of beer-infused pork products. The “all-natural” meat supplier announced last week that it is teaming up with the beer giant to “reinvigorate” grocery aisles with Budweiser jalapeño cheddar beer brats, Budweiser barbecue sauce-slathered St. Louis ribs, and pulled pork.
Coleman Natural is a popular option with customers and restaurants that want to buy free-range, antibiotic-free, non-GMO, all-vegetarian fed, organic, gluten-free, [insert other buzzword here] protein, which might seem like a weird partner for a decidedly conventional domestic beer brand like Budweiser. However, Perdue subsidiary Coleman Natural’s target market fits right in line with the type of customer that Budweiser (and really every brand these days) is trying to reach: millennials.
Budweiser has been struggling with falling sales in recent years due to its failure to appeal to millennial tastes. In 2017, the brewer reportedly plummeted into the number four slot in US sales for the first time since at least the 1970s. Budweiser’s 2019 Super Bowl spots, which enraged the National Corn Growers Association, could be seen as a different attempt at transforming the image of the brand in the eyes of a new generation that cares more about ingredients and additives. Meanwhile, Coleman Natural’s partnership with the beer company could potentially help the higher-end meat label appeal to a wider audience of Budweiser loyalists.
Coleman Natural is pretty upfront about this strategy, too. “Introducing classic Coleman Natural Budweiser products to a new younger audience will bring generations of consumers from the beer aisle to the prepared meat case,” the company’s founder Mel Coleman, Jr. states in a release.
Booze brands have licensed their names to a packaged meat products before. Jack Daniel’s notably has a partnership with Completely Fresh Foods to make packaged pulled pork flavored with the whiskey distiller’s branded barbecue sauce. Only time will tell if the watery lager company’s name slapped across a green-washed meat label will actually entice customers. The sausages and other meats are set to hit grocery stores by early summer.