Chief among Budweiser Select’s few claims to fame is its relatively quick boom and bust. The Anheuser-Busch InBev brew was briefly a staple of the mid-2000s, but barely a year after its launch, the low-calorie brand’s market share plummeted and its coast-to-coast availability soon withered away to a handful of retailers in St. Louis.
But after more than 10 years in relative obscurity, Budweiser Select is now poised for a comeback with AB InBev unveiling a new ad campaign to spread the word that its once-popular beer brand will return to store shelves nationwide this year.
“Flash forward to 2020, COVID has a significant impact on peoples’ purchase decisions … and Budweiser had a little bit of a renaissance,” says Monica Rustgi, VP of marketing at Budweiser.
On top of a wider boost spurred by the pandemic, she says the company simultaneously identified another consumer trend unrelated to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis: “People are caring about health and wellness.” And Budweiser Select, born in the low-carb craze of the 2000s, appeared to be the ideal beverage to sell to an increasingly health-conscious public.
Banking on the product’s taste and 99 calories per serving, AB InBev is now breathing new life into the brand that has remained largely dormant for the past decade, whipping up a new marketing strategy that it hopes can re-energize Select in the U.S. As it s it goes national again, Select could face its greatest competition from another AB InBev low-cal beer—Michelob Ultra. The 95-calorie brew has been enjoying a huge growth spurt for years and now ranks as the nation's fourth-largest beer, two spots ahead of regular Budweiser, according to Beer Marketer's Insights.