Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Cheers To Your Health

Karla is a new beer for women, marketed as improving health and well-being.

German brewer Karlsberg (not to be confused with Danish Carlsberg), is convinced that it can get more women to drink beer. In countries such as the UK and Spain, roughly equal percentages of men and women drink beer (around 40%). Surprisingly, this isn't the case in Germany, where women view beer as unhealthy, fattening, or unsophisticated.

So Karlsberg is taking a different angle with its introduction of Karla. Stressing that beer is a natural product, Karla is being promoted as a healthy drink for women. The mixed drink is attractively packaged, and comes in two varieties. Both are low in alcohol content (1%) and a blend of beer and fruit juices. Karla Balance claims to provide 'peace and balance' by mixing hops with lemon balm, an herb well-known for its sedative properties.

The other variety, Karla Well-Be, is also an offspring of the functional foods / nutraceuticals trend. Ingredients include soy-derived lecithin (which may positively affect cholesterol levels), folic acid (recommended for women considering pregnancy), and other vitamins.

Emphasis on health prompted an unusual distribution channel: Karla is sold through pharmacists. After a soft launch in 2005, Karlsberg recently teamed up with neutraceutical manufacturer Amapharm to distribute Karla to pharmacists across Germany. International expansion is in the works.

With health and wellness driving many consumers' food and drink choices, this could be a (niche) hit with health-concious consumers across the world, not to mention with women who actually enjoy watching soccer while knocking back a cold one.

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