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The dining options keep expanding in San Antonio, and that’s most definitely a good thing.
But let’s catch up on what’s happened around San Anto dining circles since this summer. In June, Cockasian Food Truck found a new owner in Luciano Valadez of Taps y Tapas; Locavore started serving a variety of cuisines out of a bright yellow food truck using Texan ingredients.
July kicked off with more TV love for San Antonio, this time via Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food, when host Roger Mooking visited with Johnny Hernandez and learned about the chef’s cabrito. The folks at H-E-B opened a new location in Stone Oak, which includes Oaks Crossing Restaurant Bar, the grocer’s first bar. More than 20 of our fave eateries across town participated in the third Charcuterie Week, put on by Defining Delicious and Restaurant Gwendolyn. Kate’s Frosting closed its Alamo Heights store to concentrate on expanding the offerings at the original location.
The August temperatures couldn’t keep eaters down as Alamo City Provisions, a new chefs group and roving dinner series, kicked off at the Josephine Theatre. In hospitality dining, Robbie Nowlin took the reins at Citrus inside Hotel Valencia as chef Jeff Balfour focused his efforts on opening Southerleigh Fine Food Brewery in the Pearl. Cocina Heritage Restaurant opened off Commerce with a slew of pre-Hispanic and colonial Mexican dishes. Culinaria kept us happy with its biggest-ever Restaurant Week, which featured new price tiers. Luca Della Casa, executive chef at Silo Elevated Cuisine, came in a close second on Food Network Star. Austin’s Lick Ice Creams opened a location at the Pearl, while Say-She-Ate opened a small kitchen inside SoHo Wine Martini Bar. The bummer of the summer came when Jason Dady shut down Tre Trattoria Downtown to focus on new concepts. Foodies cheered at the end of August as Cured and Hot Joy both earned nods in Bon Appetit magazine’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants list (Hot Joy came in at No. 7).
September was a busy month as chef Luis Colon opened the popular Folc in Olmos Park. Augie Cortez opened a second, beefier location, Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse, in the heart of downtown. The much-anticipated Cookhouse (brought to you by the same folks behind Where Y’at food truck) opened in mid-September and has never looked back, while Chris Cullum announced Attagirl Ice House next door. Not to be outdone, Alamo Ice House fired up more barbecued meats in a chill Hill Country-esque location nestled in downtown.
Cured received more accolades, this time from the folks at Esquire, which named it a runner up in October for this year’s Best New Restaurant in America. Gaucho Gourmet announced the opening of a cheese-tastic new joint, The Texas Cheese Cellar off Broadway and Avenue B. Tickets for Alton Brown’s The Edible Inevitable Tour went on sale, and the celebrity chef/author will visit the Tobin this April.
Things heated up in November as Big Bob’s Burgers announced a third location off Loop 1604. Eaters couldn’t get enough of In-N-Out Burger, which opened its first San Antonio location on Culebra. In market news, the Quarry Farmers Ranchers Market lost its lease with the Alamo Quarry. No worries, they’ve found a new home at The Yard on McCullough.
We kept warm during the chilly temperatures of December with the opening of Concrete Jungle, a new tiki bar in Southtown.
For upcoming food festivals and events, check out our Food Lover’s Calendar. Stay hungry, San Antonio.
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NEW DELHI: Food festivals promising regional flavours are far too common in Delhi nowadays. But what one gets are local caterers selling staple stuff much to the disappointment of food lovers. That is where National Street Food Festival to be organized by National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from December 25 to December 28 promises to be different.
“You can’t have bhaturas being sold at a Bihar stall and papri chaat at a Kerala stall at a food fest. This is being unfair on food lovers,” Sangeeta Singh, food programme head of NASVI, said.
The association has roped in close to 800 “practicing” vendors for the sixth edition of their annual event. These vendors from 25 states will treat visitors to their special preparations. She said the festival would be a great way to expand culinary horizons. “Street food is more than bhel-puri, gol gappe and chaat. There are popular vendors selling lahsan ki kheer, taash kebab, fish stews and kebabs from Bihar. You can sample all these at the fest. Benarasi paan and tea, ragda patties from Mumbai, fusion dosas and Goan beverages are new additions to this edition,” Sangeet said.
“Our focus has always been actual vendors than commercial caterers. This allows visitors to taste the real street flavours of the country,” Arbind Singh, national coordinator of NASVI, said. The fest will have cooking demonstrations by vendors, who they refer to as “master chefs” and reputed chefs such as Sanjeev Kapoor.
“Street food offers the real taste of India. It also provides livelihood to millions across the country hence the name ‘Food that empowers’. We hope to give recognition to street vendors at our biggest event till date,” he said.
For street vendors, the fest is a great learning experience. Kanchan Devi, a street vendor at Sarojini Nagar, explained how her sales doubled. “I came to know the importance of hygiene and presentation at last food festival. I implemented these at my kiosk in Sarojini Nagar and realized more people were willing to try my samosas,” she affirmed.
Another vendor Gulab Singh, who sells bhel puri at India Gate and is one of the participants of the festival, too concurred with Kanchan. “Cleanliness plays a great role in attracting people to street food. No one can match our taste. We just need to better our hygiene levels,” he said.
NASVI also plans to launch its mobile application that would help people locate street food stall near their location. “We will train street vendors on hygiene and presentation, and put these trained vendors on our application,” Arbind said. A book containing recipes of street food will be released.
The frost on the ground isn’t here yet, but that doesn’t stop Tennessee from planning a spectacular Spring 2015, filled with family-friendly festivals, quirky celebrations, and historic commemorations.
More than 200 performers from around the globe celebrate music, art, food, and dance at
aspx” target=”_blank” style=”color: rgb(17, 85, 204);”Dollywood’s Festival of Nations March 21-April 20 in Pigeon Forge. Take a culinary world trip with a World Passport to Food offering delicacies from Mexico to Germany to China. New performances include Moscow Nights, Strings of Fire, and La Danza de Colombia. More information will be announced at a later date.
All eyes will be on Knoxville during the 2015 Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event April 30-May 1 at various locations and historic sites. The American Bus Association’s Top 100 Selection Committee named the Sesquicentennial, Blue Gray Reunion and Jubilee as one of the best events to experience in 2015. Caroline E. Janney, professor, Ph.D of University of Virginia, historian and author, will be the keynote speaker for the event.
Cultivate a green thumb during the Nashville Lawn Garden Show March 5-8, 2015 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Browse an acre of live gardens, see the top brands for every gardening need, enjoy free lectures and demonstrations, and be sure to check out the floral design gallery for inspiration as more than 20 award-winning floral designers share creativity and insights.
The award-winning Rivers Spires Festival will take place April 16-18, 2015 in downtown Clarksville. Live music, entertainment, kids’ activities and food are highlights of the festival. Enjoy arm wrestling competitions, singing competitions, a Civitan $10,000 Scavenger Hunt, children’s parade, car shows, art from local and regional artists, and a Festival of Nations featuring experiences from Japan, Panama, the Phillipines, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Hungry? Head to the World’s Biggest Fish Fry where more than 12,500 pounds of catfish are fried for the annual event April 18-25, 2015 in Paris, Tenn. Fish dinners, shopping, five beauty pageants, the Small Fry Parade, a carnival, and the Grand Parade draw bigger crowds each year.
Continue to follow your nose to Memphis in May throughout the month of May in downtown Memphis. The festival kicks off with the Beale Street Music Festival May 1-3 at Tom Lee Park. Past performers include Kid Rock, Foster the People, Avenged Sevenfold, and Lucky Peterson. The International Festival will salute Poland and celebrate its customs, culture, cuisine, and more May 4-9. Get a barbecue fix at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest where teams compete for more than $110,000 in prizes May 14-16 at Tom Lee Park. The festival culminates with the AutoZone Sunset Symphony May 23.
Below is just a sampling of the events happening statewide. For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit www.tnvacation.com/calendar.
Erin – Wearin’ of the Green Irish Day Celebration – Enjoy a parade, food, entertainment and crafts at the largest Irish Day celebration and parade in this area. 931-289-5100,houstoncochamber.com
Knoxville – Dogwood Arts Festival – Miles of trails feature some of the most spectacular dogwood trees of all kinds. 865-637-4561, dogwoodarts.com
Nashville – Awesome April – A musical tribute to the city that promises a major event each weekend. 800-657-6910, visitmusiccity.com
Memphis – Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration – The National Civil Rights Museum offers a special program to commemorate the late Civil Rights leader. 901-521-9699,civilrightsmuseum.org
Columbia – Mule Day – One of the world’s biggest mule celebrations. Events include mule sale, mule pulling, mule shows, pancake breakfast, flea market and parade. 931-381-9557,muleday.com
Jackson – Rock-A-Billy Festival – The world’s largest gathering of Rock-A-Billy artists and musicians, featuring the pioneers of Rock-A-Billy music as well as new artists. 731-427-6262, rockabillyhall.org
Knoxville – Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival – The American roots music festival features performances from world-class bluegrass, indie, and jazz artists as well as storied songwriters. The event is part of the month-long Dogwood Arts Festival. 865-637-4561, rhythmnbloomsfest.com
Nashville – Nashville Film Festival – With genres from drama to comedy to foreign documentaries, this festival has something for everyone. 615-742-2500, nashvillefilmfestival.org
South Pittsburg – National Cornbread Festival – Enjoy the National Cornbread Cook-Off, the art and shows. 423-837-0022, nationalcornbread.com
Humboldt – West Tennessee Strawberry Festival – In its 75th year, this festival includes parades, live entertainment, barbecue cook-off, concerts, fireworks and more. 731-784-1842,wtsf.org
Nashville – Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – This is the nations’ oldest continuously run, weight-for-age steeplechase. 866-207-2391, iroquoissteeplechase.org
Knoxville – International Biscuit Festival – Named one of the country’s top 10 food festivals, this popular event will rise again in downtown Knoxville at Market Square. Guests enjoy food, fun, music and more throughout the three days of the Festival. biscuitfest.com
May 5-Oct. 31
Jonesborough – Storytelling Live! – Storytellers from across the United States will share stories and entertain guests. 800-952-8392, storytellingcenter.net
Adamsville – Buford Pusser Festival – This annual festival honors the famous “Walking Tall” sheriff and features good music, food and family fun. 731-632-4080,bufordpussermuseum.com
Sevierville – Sevierville’s Bloomin’ BBQ Bluegrass – This event features the Tennessee State Championship Barbeque Cook-Off, bluegrass concerts from rising stars and bluegrass legends, kids games, great food and authentic mountain crafts. visitsevierville.com/vsevents.aspx
Greeneville – Iris Festival – A juried arts/crafts festival plus food, entertainment and more surrounded by the history of President Andrew Johnson. The Annual Woodcarving Show is held each year in conjunction with the festival.
Chattanooga – Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga – The race will lead athletes through a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run on nearly the same course as IRONMAN Chattanooga. ironman.com/chattanooga70.3
Memphis – Memphis Italian Festival – This community celebration demonstrates the values of family, faith and fellowship in the Italian-American tradition. Music, food, events, games, arts and crafts and more. 901-219-1674, memphisitalianfestival.com
The goal to cater for every single guest is an overwhelming, often impossible one. However providing a local element to your FB outlets goes a long way to ensure that visitors get more from their visit. Whether your guests are traveling for business or pleasure, a real pleasure is to find local dishes and local ingredients on the menu.
Business Traveler Foodies Improving REVpor
Business travelers may not have the time to search around local restaurants but are still eager to sample local cuisine; thus making a trip to one of your hotel’s restaurants a perfect combination of the two.
Leisure Traveler Foodies Improving REVpor
Holidaymakers with more time on their hands will be keen to explore local restaurants and sample local cuisine, this doesn’t mean however that they still wouldn’t enjoy a fantastic local meal prepared by your hotel chefs.
Your hotel app can act as both tour guide and concierge, advising guests on the best places to eat nearby or booking them a table at your hotel restaurant. Take full advantage of both in order to boost REVpor and REVpar at the same time as improving your guests holiday experience.
How to Capitalise on Foodies in order to Boost REVpor
In a previous post we mentioned the basic areas you should be covering in order to cater to your guests that enjoy their food. However if you have noticed a strong trend in foodie traveler guests to your hotel there are some extra steps you can take that will carve out a niche for yourself as a haven for the foodie traveler.
These are especially popular if your location is known for its local cuisine; this could include tours of wineries, food and wine events, food festivals, cooking classes and so on. If you create a range of different tours and experiences for your guests to choose from they can be booked directly via your hotel app to boost your REVpor while at the same time enhancing your guest’s experience
History, culture AND food
Culinary tourism offers foodies a taste of history and culture, with so many holidays, festivals and traditions centred on food it’s a fantastic way for guests to learn about the area they’re visiting.
This is an ideal experience to offer in your FB outlets either as part of your main dining experience or something that can be booked separately. Local ingredients and recipes which your hotel chef or other FB staff can explain the significance of will guests a genuine local experience right in the comfort of their hotel. All of which can be booked directly via your hotel app.
There are certain things that even your most jaded foodie will rave about, some things that are a real indulgence that will impress over and over again. Chocolates and desserts are seen as a real treat that many will only indulge on during their vacations. If you make your own desserts, sweets or chocolates then get them on your hotel app and website. These are the images that your guests will share the most on social media in order to make their friends back home jealous.
Remember to make these experiences social; ask guests to share their experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter via your hotel app. Chances are that foodie guests will have foodie friends that would enjoy your hotel too.
Nick Baker is the community manager for Appy Hotel, a hotel digital marketing startup based in SE Asia, that provides mobile applications and digital marketing technology solutions to hundreds of hotels across Asia and around the world. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.AppyHotel.com.
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Festival founder David Sabin proposed to star chef Lindsay Autry at the official kickoff of the four-day festival. (Photo: LILA PHOTO)
It wasn’t until he started to kneel that David Sabin felt nervous.
Sabin, the founder of the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, had wandered away from the chef’s welcome party, the official kickoff to the four-day festival at The Breakers Friday night.
He led his longtime girlfriend, star chef Lindsay Autry, to a quiet ocean-side spot.
She wondered why a photographer was tailing them.
It all became clear when, during the event he has helped make one of the top food festivals in the country, and where she made a name for herself as a chef, he dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him.
“She said yes!” Sabin, 35, said later, as the announcement was made during the affair, which effectively became Sabin and Autry’s engagement party.
“I thought it might happen pretty soon, but not tonight,” Autry said.
The festival was the perfect place to propose, he said, because of their deep ties to Palm Beach.
Four Season executive chef Jeff Simms shared his food, like these reimagined bacon and eggs, at what effectively became an engagement party for Sabin and Autry. (Photo: LILA PHOTO)
Autry, 32, first met Sabin when she was the executive chef at the former Omphoy hotel, under mega chef Michelle Bernstein, when she prepared a lavish dinner for Sabin’s 30th birthday. They started dating officially a year and a half ago.
Autry may have been stunned — but her family wasn’t.
At a family wedding in October, Sabin asked her father, George, for his blessing to marry her.
“The boy just asked for our daughter’s hand in marriage,” George Autry told his wife, Pandy.
And walking into the party, Sabin told Pandy that there would be “some announcements tonight and some celebration.”
“For such a special moment, it only made sense to do it here,” Sabin said. “Her heart is in Palm Beach and the festival is a part of both our lives.”
Sandwich king Jeff Mauro (leaping) hosted an after-party at the Four Seasons where chef Mark Murphy, among others, sang karaoke. (PHOTO: LILA PHOTO)
They celebrated with food by Breakers chef Jeff Simms, which ranged from caviar and vodka tastings to coconut shrimp served inside halved coconuts. And the celebrated with friends in the chef community, from Food Network star Mark Murphy and fellow Top Chef contestant and new South Florida restaurateur Fabio Viviani to acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, among others. (They partied until late a Four Seasons karaoke after-party hosted by sandwich king Jeff Mauro, where Murphy cranked out The Ramones.)
A food-centric proposal was apropos.
Autry was renowned as a finalist on the king-making Bravo cooking show Top Chef after working under Bernstein for years at several restaurants. She helped revitalize the Sundy House in Delray Beach as head chef and recently accepted a position as executive chef at Firefly, a Washington D.C./Dupont Circle restaurant.
The couple will split time between Washington D.C. and Palm Beach, where Sabin handles publicity for major clients. And she said she plans to open a restaurant in Palm Beach County with her Southern-meets-Mediterranean flare.
“We’re going to make it work,” she said.
The first annual British Virgin Islands Food Fête was a savory success. The month-long celebration welcomed a variety of foodies and renowned chefs all looking for a taste of the Territory’s heritage and distinct flavors.
The Fête welcomed a host of new activities such as a gourmet soirée, rum tastings, visiting chef competitions, and culinary arts workshops. The celebration also included event favorites such as BVI Restaurant Week and the Anegada Lobster Festival, both of which saw significantly increased turnouts of local and visiting guests.
Among the visiting chefs who spent time in the BVI during the Food Fête is Canadian-born chef Roshni Gurnani, winner of the 2009 season of the Food Network show Chopped. Chef Roshni had the honor of participating and winning the title of Best Chef during the Food Fête’s Visiting Chef Cook-off on Tortola on November 14th. Rosewood Little Dix Bay resort executive chef, Torsten Rumprecht had the honor of winning the Best Chef title during the second cook-off on Virgin Gorda held November 15th.
On Chopped, chefs are pitted against one another using a mystery basket of ingredients. This same style of competition is what made the BVI Food Fête’s Visiting Chef Cook-off such an exciting event.
“[The Visiting Chef Cook-off] is very similar to the Chopped experience in not knowing what to expect,” Gurnani says. “I am working with items I’ve never worked with before and things I’ve never handled, such as spiny lobsters and conch seafood as well as beef, chicken, and goat meat.”
Gurnani wasn’t the only visiting chef used to a little competition in the spotlight. The BVI Food Fête also held a lavish Barefoot Gourmet Soirée at Peter Island Resort Spa on November 22nd featuring pastry chef and chocolatier Erika Dupree Davis, one of the first contestants on Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts.
Many programs within the BVI Food Fête also served as a platform by which culinary arts students were able to interact and learn from notable chefs. During the Barefoot Gourmet Soirée, culinary students assisted Chef Davis, and participating chefs, Digby Stridiron of St. Croix, Mario Pagan of Puerto Rico, and local chefs Lisa Sellers and Jenese Adams, with their unique Caribbean-infused dishes at live food stations. The beautiful beachside culinary event raised more than $5,000, which will go towards a scholarship for a student interested in studying tourism, hospitality, or culinary arts.
Gurnani, also a culinary instructor at the Art Institute of Houston, offered the students hands-on experience in her workshops on Tortola and Virgin Gorda along with the assistance of her sous chef, Jill Bromley. Gurnani’s lessons included live cooking demonstrations, instructions on plating and serving guests, and a question and answer session.
The BVI Food Fête culminated its program with the highly anticipated two-day Anegada Lobster Festival on November 29th and 30th. Hundreds of guests participated in a self-guided culinary journey around Anegada to sample the island’s savory spiny lobster prepared in a variety of ways by the island’s talented chefs, ending the night with a sensational sunset party.
The success of the British Virgin Islands’ first annual Food Fête further establishes the BVI as not only a beautiful vacation getaway but also as a solidified culinary destination. With all of the extraordinary flavors and fresh seafood in abundance throughout the BVI, experiencing new foods on the islands is a must for any food lover.
“I think it is very important to have festivals like this and allow people to know and learn about the specific islands. It is a great way to put these islands on the map for something that brings people together, like food,” Gurnani says.
For more information on traveling to the British Virgin Islands and upcoming events in the destination, call 800.835.8530 or click here [Street FoodFood TrucksFood CartsWelcome to Flavor (Winter 2014)Get the taste of India at street food festivalHow To Start A Food Truck Business
By Emily Clark
Posted Dec. 10, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
Last week more than 75,000 art aficionados and celebrities from around the globe descended upon Miami for the 2014 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. What began in 2002 as a winter outpost of the original Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, the Miami Beach show has now overtaken its older sibling as the world’s largest modern and contemporary art show. Today, not only has the show outgrown its home at the Miami Beach Convention Center, it has led to the creation of Art Week Miami and spawned a whole host of satellite events throughout Miami Beach and across Biscayne Bay in Miami’s up-and-coming Design District, Wynwood, and Midtown Miami, as well as its cosmopolitan Downtown and Brickell neighborhoods.
The concept behind the Miami Beach show has proven so successful that Art Basel launched a third show in Hong Kong in 2013. However, while the show has put Miami on the international art map, its reach goes beyond the art world and offers businesses the opportunity to capture an elusive market demographic, the cultural influencers, the very celebrities and trendsetters that can give a product or brand the word of mouth buzz that leads to worldwide recognition and credibility.
With this powerful market segment congregating in Miami last week, new businesses throughout Miami have been in a rush to open their doors to the world for the first time. One notable opening in the lifestyle hospitality space is The Miami Beach Edition, a boutique lifestyle hotel collaboration between two unlikely partners, famed boutique hotelier, Ian Schrager, and the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott International.
Schrager, the man behind the success of the Delano Hotel and Morgans Hotel Group, as well as the infamous Studio 54 night club, has long been viewed as a pioneer of what has become known as the lifestyle hotel segment. In 1995, when Schrager opened the Delano, one of Miami’s first boutique hotels, he aimed to create a hotel with a distinctively local character bringing together the worlds of hospitality, art and high design, a concept that appeals to cultural influencers and trendsetters the world over. Much of Schrager’s success establishing world famous boutique hotels can be attributed to the innovation and nimbleness that allowed his small hotels to flourish by standing in stark contrast to the perception of omnipresent hotel chains, such as Marriott, as being the safe choice, a mundane hotel which ignored the local character.
As the ability of travelers to research their destinations has increased over the last twenty years, the safe choice perception that enabled Marriott’s international growth has taken a back seat to the travelers’ desire to have a more intimate and personal experience. Now Schrager, who once boldly told a conference audience, “I am the anti-Marriot, I stand for everything that is the opposite of what Marriott stands for,” has joined forces with his former foe to develop The Edition brand and expand it worldwide, with Miami as the launching pad for their North American and international expansion plans.
The launch of the first two Edition branded hotels in London and Istanbul were setback by the recession and a global downturn in travel. Arne Sorenson, CEO and President of Marriot International, believes that Miami’s position as
“perhaps the most energetic and vibrantly growing city in the Western Hemisphere”
will reinvigorate the brand and create the buzz to power expansion in international destinations as diverse as New York, Hollywood, China, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and India.
The Thompson Hotel, which opened November 21, joins The Edition Miami Beach in having beaten the Art Basel rush. However, for those businesses that didn’t make it in time fpr Art Basel in Miami, there is always another star studded event on the horizon and the accompanying grand openings and brand launches. In February, Miami will play host to one of the nation’s largest food festivals, the Food Network South Beach Wine Food Festival, a four-day event showcasing the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.
With Miami’s influence and celebrity power, it is no wonder that the city has been chosen as the home of several new domestic brands, including 1 Hotel South Beach, SIXTY Hotel’s Nautilus South Beach, and Tommy Hilfiger’s recently purchased Raleigh Hotel. However, Miami’s international appeal as a global city has also drawn the attention of Chilean brand, Atton, and Swire Hotel’s Asian brand, EAST, which have both chosen Miami’s Brickell Financial District for their first hotels in North America.
In today’s world of global instant communication, the role of cultural influencers is more important than ever and can make or break a brand in its infancy. As Miami continues to grow as an internationally influential city, so does the recognition that Miami’s social and cultural cachet offers a launching pad for brands to create a buzz that can lead to international success.
The king is dead.
Budweiser, an American icon and the self-proclaimed King of Beers, has fallen from its throne. The ubiquitous brew that was the most popular beer in the country for much of the 19th and 20th centuries has been in decline for over a generation. AB InBev (NYSE: BUD ) , its parent company, seems to have finally come to terms with it, based on its new marketing campaign.
The beer brand is taking the spotlight away from its trademark Clydesdale horses in favor of an ad campaign targeting millennials, stepping back from a long-held strategy of going after all age groups. That means the brand will be featured as a sponsor of Jay-Z concerts and food festivals, because 50% of millennials self-identify as “foodies,” and its TV ads will look something like this:
The spot, entitled Round Up Your #HolidayBuds, features several young people telling the camera who they’d like to share a Bud with. It’s a charming commercial, but it ignores a simple truth. Young people aren’t drinking Budweiser. In fact, 44% of 21-27 year-olds have never even tasted it, according to Anheuser-Busch. That’s a remarkable fact, considering Budweiser was the No. 1 beer in the country for much of their childhood, and is still No. 3.
Today, Bud Light reigns supreme among beers. It took the top spot form Budweiser in 2001, and now rakes in nearly three times the sales of the former champ, but cannibalization isn’t the only reason for Bud’s demise. The rise of craft beers has slowly chipped away at the dominance of macrobrews like Bud, and for the first time last year, shipments of craft beer, at 16.1 million, topped Budweiser at 16 million. That’s down from Bud’s peak in 1988 at 50 million barrels.
There may be a greater obstacle than marketing for Budweiser to regain growth, however: taste. After all, the brand has an advertising budget in the range of $500 million. If young people aren’t drinking it, it isn’t because they haven’t heard of it. According to Beer Advocate, in a crowd-sourced survey Budweiser rated a 57, or “awful,” on a scale of 1 to 100. Historically, Budweiser’s strength was never its taste though. Its success owes instead to clever marketing. Early on, the beer was never a favorite among local St. Louis drinkers, but became the first national brand as founder Adolphus Busch was the first to pasteurize, use refrigerated rail cars, and bottle on a large scale. He also plied bars into serving it by helping to pay licensing fees and rents.
It’s not just beer that’s changing
The rise of craft beers, which offer a wide range of varieties and richer flavors than traditional beers, fits right in with millennials’ taste in other categories. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and McDonald’s, all staples of the past generation, are seeing consumption declines in the U.S, while fast-casual chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill are on the rise, and energy drinks like Monster Beverage and other still beverages have seen the most growth in that industry.
Despite the rise of craft beer, there is one macrobrew that has found a following among millennials: Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sales of PBR have nearly doubled over the past five years, to 6 million barrels a year, a success very much attributable to its hipster street cred, and that credibility began with one simple decision. In 1985, Paul Kalmanowitz bought the rapidly declining company for $63 million and banned advertising, betting that the low price and decent taste would sell itself. The strategy worked as the brand gained an indie following. Earlier this year, the company was sold for $700 million, a gain of more than 1,000% from Kalmanowitz’s purchase price.
For Budweiser, there seems to be a lesson there. The young and floppy-haired of America don’t like being marketed to, and they don’t like industrially processed stuff that tastes bad. Plenty of other brands millennials are fond of, like Chipotle, have followed this formula, eschewing traditional advertising, especially on TV.
But as the rise of craft beer attests, hipster styles and tastes have gone mainstream, and what was mainstream is no longer cool. In its quest to be accepted, Budweiser may be forgetting the first rule of hipsterdom: You can’t try to be hipster; you just have to be hip.
1 great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond
2015 is shaping up to be another great year for stocks. But if you want to make sure that 2015 is your best investing year ever, you need to know where to start. That’s why The Motley Fool’s chief investment officer just published a brand-new research report that reveals his top stock for the year ahead. To get the full story on this year’s stock — completely free – simply click here.
Coachella Valley visitors and residents can feast on a south-of-the-border holiday staple at the Indio International Tamale Festival this weekend.
The festival was held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and and will continue Sunday in Old Town Indio, and admission and parking are free. The Food Network recently included the festival in its top 10 “All-American Food Festivals,” according to organizers.
A kicked off the festival, with local boxing champion Randy Caballero as grand marshal. In addition to food booths, there will be a tamale- eating contest, a car show, live music, wine and beer, carnival rides, children’s activities and art.
Free shuttles will take attendees to and from the Larson Justice Center at 46200 Oasis St.
For more information, go to www.tamalefestival.net.
— City News Service.
Image courtesy: http://www.tamalefestival.net/