VB ad apologises to consumers for messing with recipe

By By David Blight | 5 September 2012

In a series of full page advertisements, Carlton United Brewers-owned Victoria Bitter (VB) has apologised to its “loyal consumers” for formerly dropping its alcoholic strength.

Yesterday, the brand revealed it was returning its strength to 4.9%, after dropping to 4.8% in 2007 then 4.6% in 2009. The move had saved the brewer millions of dollars in taxes.

After pressure from the public, the company has restored VB to its original strength, and today full page ads have appeared nationally in print.

The apology letter from CUB's chief executive Ari Mervis says: “Dear Victoria Bitter Drinkers, We've heard you … and we're fixing it.

"A few years ago, we made several changes to the recipe of your favourite beer. We altered the brewing process and we got it wrong.

“But we've listened to you – our loyal customers – and now we are determined to make it right.”

In recent years, VB's market share has been dropping significantly in the face of competitors such as XXXX Gold and smaller boutique breweries.

Reports have suggested the brand's share fell from over 20% several years ago to less than 14% today.

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