A higher alcohol Budweiser brand extension follows last year's hugely successful release of Bud Light Platinum and the New Year's Eve launch of the higher alcohol
Bud Light Platinum, which also made it national debut with a Super Bowl spot, went on to become the most successful brand launch of 2012, selling roughly 14 million cases and capturing more than a one percent market share.
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Where Bud Light Platinum was aimed at wooing back a younger crowd which may have turned away from beer in bars and nightclubs, Budweiser Black Crown appears to position itself to the large base of consumers which already drinks Budweiser but may be looking for something a little different.
"Our research shows that after beer drinkers try Budweiser Black Crown, 84 percent would purchase it," said Nate Scudieri, senior brand manager for Budweiser Black Crown. "It stays true to the original Budweiser recipe, but has its own unique take."
The beer's national advertising campaign also has an active social media component, with interactive consumer programs on Facebook and Twitter that the company says are "designed to be participatory, similar in spirit to when consumers were asked to help choose the recipe that would ultimately become Budweiser Black Crown." The social media campaign will feature the Twitter hashtag #TASTEIS.
The beer will be sold nationwide in 12-ounce glass bottles available in six- and 12-packs and in 22-ounce single bottles. It will be available in both bars and restaurants and at grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores.
Budweiser is America's No. 1 premium regular beer, selling more than its four nearest competitors combined.
-By CNBC's Tom Rotunno; Follow him on Twitter @TomRotunno
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