Green Beers in Australia

Roger James in the Business Spectator:

There was a time when green beer was something strange they did with the brews in Irish pubs on St Patrick’s day. Not any more. Green beer is now a deadly serious marketing strategy, with Foster’s and Lion Nathan releasing products which they say reach the consumer being fully carbon offset in their production, packaging and distribution. Foster’s even goes to the trouble of printing its labels using inks made from vegetable oils.

Will consumers change their beers, perhaps even their brand, in response to this? There is no doubt that being carbon neutral, having carbon offsets or reducing your carbon footprint are all issues that have recently sprung to the fore in business, in marketing and in the community.

A new target market for a new beer.This initiative raises a lot of questions about green marketing strategies.

Will consumers select beers based on their green credentials? A question for Seth Godin I guess. Here’s my take. Consumers may change products like dish washing liquids or even clothes based on their green credentials. Cars come into this category too. However, beers are different. They are personal, taste based and connect to past preferences and habits. Lion Nathan and Fosters may be better off spending their green dollars on other initiatives.

Here’s a thought: what if your most popular beer is made “green”; would that make a difference? Will it get more customers to choose that beer, bring in a new customer?

What if the company developed a greener supply chain and manufacturing systems and built their overall green image. Will that create a blanket of goodwill on all their products? Is that better?

What is a better strategy? New green products, green old products or green the company?

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