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    Budweiser Gets Patriotic Makeover

    A-B brand to donate up to $2.5M to military charity

    This summer, the Budweiser bottle will receive a major overhaul, in the form of limited-edition red-white-and-blue packaging.

    The new design heralds a seasonal initiative in which the brand of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch (A-B) will contribute a portion of all sales from May 20 through July 7 to help raise as much as $2.5 million for the Owasso, Okla.-based Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled in the line of duty.

    The patriotic bottle, which comes with one of five decorated bottle caps, features the brand’s familiar bowtie as its focal point. Additionally, Budweiser cans and secondary packaging will sport the U.S. flag’s colors from mid-May through mid-July.

    “It’s going to be a red-white-and-blue summer for Budweiser -- most visibly in our packaging, but more importantly in our philanthropic support for the families of America’s fallen heroes through the Folds of Honor Foundation,” noted Rob McCarthy, VP of Budweiser at A-B, a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev. “Our partnership with Folds of Honor is helping to make a difference in the lives of families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we all hold so dear.”

    This year’s limited-edition packaging will be available in 8-, 12-, 16- and 24-ounce cans, as well as in a 12-ounce glass bottle, 16-ounce plastic bottle and 16-ounce aluminum bottle. The patriotic theme will also be featured on secondary packaging for all of the top-selling configurations, including 6-packs, 24-packs, 30-packs and other popular sizes.

    Additional components of the initiative are the “Walk Off a Hero” program, in which Budweiser will donate $5,000 for every walk-off (the equivalent of one scholarship) during baseball’s 2012 regular season to Folds of Honor; official sponsorship of Team USA during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, in honor of which the brand will unveil a 16-ounce aluminum bottle with the Team USA logo next month; a special Budweiser red-white-and-blue paint job for the No. 29 Chevrolet, driven by Kevin Harvick, for NASCAR races at various locations this summer; and sampling events in mid-June, including on Flag Day, June 14.

    The program is a major expansion of a patriotic packaging initiative that proved highly successful for the brand last summer. “Last year, Budweiser had its best summer in many years with our special red-white-and-blue can as the catalyst during June,” McCarthy said. “We have expanded and improved this packaging this year.”
     

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