Meanwhile, a major beer producer leans a valuable free market lesson
Given how much I plan to drink after Nov. 8th, in either celebration or despair, I have been toying with the idea of opening a winery.
The idea has merit, given that it may be the only way I see any of my tax dollars back! The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value Added Producer grants (VAPG) has awarded nearly $10 million to wineries, distilleries, and other makers of fine, alcoholic beverages millions!
The recently released list of the 2016 VAPG awards includes $7,417,459 for those producing, marketing, and packaging wine.
According to the USDA program description, among those included in the $7,417,459 is a $250,000 grant to Caduceus Cellars of Arizona for “to help increase the customer base and market share for bottled wines.”
Grovedale Winery and Vineyard, INC of Pennsylvania was granted $250,000 “to enhance marketing by developing a more visually appealing display with new banners, tasting cards and table displays.”
Vivac Winery in New Mexico was awarded $98,121 “to process grapes and package wine in kegs for ready distribution and consumption.”
$1,250,000 was awarded for companies dealing with liquor. This includes a $250,000 award to Cane Land Distilling in Louisiana “to extract molasses and fresh sugar cane juice from Alma Plantation sugar cane and ferment and distill it into three product types: Rhum Agricole, Heavy Rum, and Light Rum.”
Thousand Islands Winery LLC of New York was awarded $250,000 “to expand sales and promotion of rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey products.”
I should think that the costs associated with the making, bottling, labeling, and marketing of alcohol-based products would be accounted for in the price of the final product. So why, exactly, would the feds need to dole out money to those specific businesses?
Furthermore, the competitors of those companies that received the funds to market or promote their products are being unfairly treated. After all, the owners and employees of those firms likely paid taxes. Therefore, their wealth has now been redistributed in a way that helps their competition.
However, this isn’t the only intriguing alcohol-based story in the news. Anheuser-Busch InBev has pulled the suite of Bud Light ads featuring loud-mouthed, progressive comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen.
According to Adweek, the beer giant pulled the ads “a little earlier than expected” after its beer sales declined in the third quarter.
The Schumer-Rogen ads launched earlier this year before the Super Bowl and played off of the presidential election featuring a mock Bud Light political party.
Surprisingly, the ad set was not well-received by its intended audience.
One advertisement in the campaign, “Equal Pay,” received a strongly negative reaction online. In it, the pair decry decry the gender wage gap while Schumer plugs the beer by proffering that it “costs the same, whether you’re a dude or a lady.”
The comments section beneath the YouTube video of the ad has since been disabled.
Furthermore, “third quarter” is the summer, which is the time of year American typically consume the most year. Who knew that producing politically tone-deaf ads demeaning to a large portion of the customer base with end in such failure?
I wonder if this lesson in effective beer marketing would earn me a grant from the Department of Agriculture? I would certainly drink to that…starting Nov. 8th!DONATE
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