Brand Beer on the mend: Lion

Lion’s index for measuring consumer attitudes to beer has shown another small improvement over the past 12 months, the brewer says.

The Vibrant Beer Culture Index recorded a score of 36.2, an improvement of 2.2 points on March 2016.

The measurement is based on surveys of 1000 people per month on their attitudes to beer, as well as other drinks, Lion Beer Australia managing director James Brindley said last year.

The VBC Index is predominately an internal score card for Lion, a spokesman told Australian Brews News.

As such the exact survey criteria has not been revealed, nor is it clear how Lion isolates the contribution of its related Beer The Beautiful Truth campaign to the improved result.

Lion’s definition of what constitutes a Vibrant Beer Culture appeared to include factors such as consumers’ beer style knowledge, their acceptance of beer’s role in dining and their awareness ofits agricultural origins, when the project was first unveiled.

These particular factors could obviously have been influenced by many different variables over the last two years.

Nutritional Information Panels

Positive shifts
However, Lion believes Beer the Beautiful Truth and its introduction of nutritional information panels have helped tackle consumer beliefs that beer is inherently unhealthy.

“The research also found that, compared to last year, more people believe that beer is actually lower in sugars per serve (up eight per cent) than they thought previously; more Aussies also believe beer is lower in carbohydrates and calories per serve (both up six per cent) than they previously thought and fewer people mistakenly think that all beer contains preservatives (down eight per cent),” the brewer said.

Despite the positive shifts in perception, the new research found that one in three Australians still think beer is the most fattening alcohol.

“It’s very encouraging to see such positive shifts but we have only just scratched the surface with helping Aussies really understand what goes into beer,” commented Lion marketing director for brand, innovation and communication, Tanya Marler.

Frosty reception in NZ
Beer The Beautiful Truth was recently rolled out in New Zealand, where it is an initiative of the Brewers Association New Zealand and bothLion and DB, which have committed to putting nutritional labels on their beers.

However, the campaign received a frosty reception from independent brewers, while the Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand – which also counts Lion and DB as members – labelled it “potentially misleading”.

“Although it may be completely true for example that beer is 99 per cent sugar free, the Guild’s opinion is that highlighting those single positive aspects in isolation is not being entirely transparent,” said spokesman Ralph Bungard.

“On top of that, many of the smaller brewery members fear that the campaign may lead to nutritional labelling being mandatory and that it will be difficult and expensive for those members to comply, effectively putting them at a disadvantage compared with larger brewers.”

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