Bud Shocks Drinkers by Making Beer in USA

As someone who generally favors labeling for genetically modified foods as a means of educating consumers on who and what actually controls the food chain, I'm sure that won't matter much if people don't bother to read what's printed on the label.

Once again we have a case where someone is shocked -- shocked! -- to find that something is what it seemed. In the latest case, a man was dismayed to learn Beck's beer is not actually made in Germany. He's so outraged that he's suing Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD  ) even though it says right there on the bottle's label that Beck's comes from "St. Louis, MO" and is a "Product of the USA."

In recent years Coca-Cola had to defend itself in court because a consumer was duped into believing its Vitaminwater brand actually contained only vitamins and water despite the drink's label listing every ingredient as required. No matter, in refusing Coke's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the judge said, "The fact that the actual sugar content of Vitaminwater was accurately stated in a Food and Drug Administration-mandated label on the product does not eliminate the possibility that reasonable consumers may be misled."

What's next? Boston Beer getting sued because it has a picture of patriot-brewer Samuel Adams on the label of its flagship brand? After all, Dr Pepper Snapple Group was sued because a consumer allegedly believed the antioxidants in its 7Up berry-flavored drinks were derived from fruit juice instead of the vitamin E the bottler added because the label showed pictures of fruit.

The rise of frivolous lawsuits has led to the placement of ridiculous labels that either tell the consumer the obvious -- an electric razor, for example, that warns the user to "never use while sleeping" -- to the absurd -- a kid's neck pillow that cautions one should "keep away from infants and children." More recently, an extension cord manufacturer advised users to "wash hands after using," presumably if returning to the kitchen to cook after plugging that floor lamp into the wall socket.

A beer's ingredients can certainly be its pride. Molson Coors proudly proclaims its source water is the Colorado Rockies while Boston Beer makes much of its use of our noble hops Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Tettnanger, Spalter, and Saaz. Even with Beck's, although Anheuser-Busch might not use Rotenburger Rinne water from Germany anymore, as the classic Beck's beer did, it still maintains strict adherence to the German Purity Law, the Reinheitsgebot, in its manufacture. That alone separates it from many American brews, though Samuel Adams used to tout it was the only American brewer that could be legally imported into Germany.

While it seems implausible that the case will pass muster in the courts, as we've seen on other occasions judges can still brew up trouble from time to time. So don't be as shocked as that drinker who found out Beck's was made in the U.S. if this case doesn't just get poured down the drain.

International flavor
If you're a fan of U.S. businesses but prefer some global exposure in your portfolio, you're in luck: Profiting from our increasingly global economy can be as easy as investing in your own backyard. The Motley Fool's free report "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World" shows you how. Click here to get your free copy before it’s gone.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2695801, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/20/2014 6:27:09 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement