Budweiser-branded bratwurst, pulled pork, and spareribs are coming to grocery stores this summer in partnership with Coleman Meats, in an attempt to lure new, younger customers to the meat aisle. In announcing the partnership, Budweiser and Coleman say the five new items will “drive millennial purchases” and introduce those fickle consumers to the joys of prepared meats.
The line includes St. Louis-style pork spareribs and pulled pork “in tasty Budweiser sauce,” plus beer brats and jalapeño cheddar brats made with Budweiser lager. The product announcement implies younger shoppers will be drawn to meat items they wouldn’t normally purchase by the recognizable Budweiser logo.
“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,” Mel Coleman Jr. of Coleman Meats says in the statement.
Except that we millennials aren’t so easily convinced. First, most of us hate being marketed to as millennials, since corporations seem to think we’re a bunch of teenie-bopping nitwits when actually, about half of us are in our 30s at this point. (Remember that off-base, millennial-targeted beer, Two Hats? RIP.) Secondly, younger consumers may be eating less meat for reasons that a Budweiser-soaked brat isn’t going to fix. We’re a health- and wellness-conscious generation, not to mention one that’s grown up hearing messages about animal welfare and ethically raised food. Third, we’re more likely to seek out small brands, which are perceived as more “authentic.” We’re attracted to small farmers, locally raised meats, and craft beer, not necessarily a marketing partnership between two megabrands. Beer as a whole has struggled to court millennials.
This is not an automatic criticism of the Budweiser-Coleman meats. Perhaps they’re delicious! I love beer brats. I love spareribs. You can put beer in most foods and I’ll be intrigued. But marketing beer and meat to millennials are tough tasks on their own: Who’s to say they’ll be easier in combination?