Game-changing Australian low carb beer Pure Blonde is pushing the boundaries again. This time it is in the name of transparency.  Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) have published the recipe and brewing process for its new organic variant. The campaign explores the question of how much brands really get back when they give everything away.

The brand’s most recent launch is Pure Blonde Organic Lager, the first ACO-certified organic range in Carlton & United Breweries’ history. To promote the launch, the brand published its recipe and entire brewing process on billboards across Australia. It represents a bold step towards production transparency. However, it is a calculated gamble given that the brand is not only disclosing its product formula to consumers but also to competitors.

Still, it is a risk that undoubtedly has merits given the importance that consumers attach to natural ingredients and notions of purity and wellbeing. Indeed, according to GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 global consumer survey, 24% of global drinkers proactively seek alcoholic beverages that contain only natural ingredients. Similarly, an additional 45% of drinkers proactively seek alcoholic beverages that contain ‘some’ natural ingredients. As the product formulations of alcoholic drinks become increasingly scrutinized, brands that prove they have nothing to hide are likely to garner consumer interest and ultimately loyalty.

Pure Blonde has enjoyed ongoing success in Australia since its initial launch in 2004. It owes this to Australians’ growing health consciousness and its impact on their consumption choices.

A potentially problematic aspect of the campaign, however, is the giving away of valuable trade secrets. Revealing key product ingredients and the production process appears to undervalue them in favour of marketing impact. In a category that arguably catalysed the craft movement, uniqueness and creativity continue to be influential characteristics for beer drinkers. Going forward, it will be critical for beer brands to strike the right balance between transparency and originality.

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