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06/26/2017

A Lidl More Disruption: Whassup with Boss Light? Hype Around New Chain “Warranted,” Sez Brett

Ain’t just Amazon’s Whole Foods deal that’s got retail watchers buzzin’.  German discount grocery chain Lidl launched 9 stores in VA, NC and SC recently and “hype around” its debut “warranted,” sez Consumer Edge analyst Brett Cooper.  In short note and lotsa pics of “packed” store CE visited Jun 15, Brett pointed to “increasingly competitive” grocery biz as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Costco, dollar stores, Lidl and fellow German discounter Aldi, and more all makin’ moves to serve consumers in new/different ways.  “Most onlookers expect Lidl’s entrance to roil the American grocery industry, posing yet another danger to companies already threatened by investments from Walmart, online and startups,” said Economist mag.

Lidl and Aldi do 90% of their biz in private label biz, and stock only 1/10th of items in conventional supers, but prices can be as much as 50% cheaper, added Economist.  Tho private label still tiny part of US alc bev sales ‒ and especially beer ‒ Total Wine has figured out how to make it work in wine.  And Lidl has its own tweak.  Among Brett’s pics was display of top US beer brands with stack of “Boss Light” right next to Bud Light.  Package graphics and color extremely similar, potentially inviting trademark lawsuit. Bud Light priced at $11.28 per twelver vs $8.49 for Boss Light.  We tried to look up COLA for Boss Light and couldn’t find one, tho two COLAs for “Boss” beer (no graphics) approved in Jan 2017, made at Minhas in Wisconsin.  Lidl also offers “Blue Key Belgian White” that closely resembles Blue Moon.  Label sez it’s brewed by World Brews in Rochester (North American Breweries).

Gotta figure AB and MC attys all over this.   “It concern us” that these chains have “tendency to steal people’s IP [intellectual property]” in manner similar to what happens in China, said one major brewery source, “not a direct ripoff,” but “skirting the line of what’s legal and appropriate.”

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue #: 116
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