Clever companies have a bevy of innovative ways to physically brand items to customers. In the world of beer, bottles, cans, growlers, signage and promotional items like coasters and stickers are no-brainers, but what about keg wraps and keg collars, shelf talkers and refrigeration units? In fact, what if you could lease a refrigeration unit to a grocery story? You could put your branding all over it, and you know what, you could probably ensure you beer gets in that cooler too. Sound like a great idea?
Anheuser-Busch InBev (a.k.a. Beer Voltron) and some folks in Missouri think so too. Currently, there’s a proposed law before the Missouri General Assembly. The bill will allow growler sales in the state, and that’s cool, but there’s something else tucked in there. From the Columbia Daily Tribune:
If the legislature passes the bill strongly supported by Anheuser-Busch InBev, stores will be able to sell beer in reusable containers known as growlers. Craft breweries have lobbied extensively to get growler legislation on the books, but there’s a catch in this particular bill that some members of the craft brewing community find so abhorrent that they are calling it a “poison pill.”
The same bill contains a provision that would allow breweries to lease portable refrigeration units to convenience and grocery stores. Think of the coolers you see for soda, branded by Coke, and full of Coke products. Now, imagine that cooler but with Anheuser-Busch brands. According to AB InBev, it’ll be great for everyone:
“This legislation would help the entire beer community in Missouri,” Anheuser-Busch InBev Region Vice President Marcelo Abud wrote in an email. “In fact, similar laws are in place in states with booming craft beer segments, including Wisconsin and Colorado.”
Well, there you go. If Beer Voltron says it’s cool, it’s probably not cool. According to the article, the Missouri Senate passed the bill March 3, and the legislation is now making its way through the House.