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Anheuser-Busch prepares to launch Bud Light with lime

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CHICAGO Having watched rival Miller Brewing Co. take its fledgling lime-and-salt flavored Miller Chill brand national last year, Anheuser-Busch is getting ready for the launch of its lime-flavored Bud Light.

The brewer said it would support the May launch with a $35 million media, merchandising and sampling blitz, including entertainment and sports TV, online, print and outdoor ads.

“Our extensive consumer research indicates that the Bud Light Lime concept and taste are off the charts with today’s consumers,” the company’s vice president of innovations, Pat McGauley, and vice president of trademark brands, Dan McHugh, said. “This insight will allow us to take Bud Light to the next level.”

The company said the brand’s “consumer target” were light-beer drinkers ages 25 to 54 who prefer a “sweeter” beer, as well as “trendsetters and aspirers.”

Miller has done a respectable job with the Chill launch, according to industry executives, who claim the brand has sold 450,000 barrels, good for a 0.3 percent market share. At launch, the company said the goal was a 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent market share by the end of this year.

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