If beer isn’t good for you why are they selling it in chemist shops
Germans are drinking less beer. Part of the reason is that beer isn’t cool anymore but perhaps the major cause is the country’s ageing population. Older consumers are becoming more health conscious and are turning to drinks with a healthier image. According to Euromonitor "Wine, with its well-documented health benefits when consumed in moderation, coupled with its sophisticated image" is benefiting from this trend. That’s bad news for beer.
Germany’s brewers have reacted by producing a range of mixed drinks based on beer. ‘Cool’ Cola, lemonade and fruit flavoured drinks are targeted at younger consumers while healthy-styled products spiked with medicinal herbs targeted at older drinkers. And perhaps the most interesting response to declining sales is not what goes into beer-based products, but where they are being sold.
At a recent press conference Karlsberg’s Richard Weber asked the audience, "Did you know that two thirds of all over-50s go to the pharmacy once a week?" According to Weber this makes pharmacies an ideal place to sell the company’s new beer-based product Karla:
Karla has been a hot topic of discussion since its launch in May. And no wonder: this product (and its sales channel) has shaken up the industry. It’s the combination of various factors that makes Karla a true innovation: what we have here is two new, tasty beverages on the basis of beer, with added ingredients with proven pharmacological effects. The products were developed in conjunction with pharmacists – the basic idea was: we’re all mixers in our own way. So why not combine an active ingredient from the pharmacy with the great taste of Karlsberg?
Beer makers are keeping a sharp eye out for research which might help turn around the product’s Homer-on-the-couch-with-donuts image. So when scientists discovered that a compound in hops that showed promise in the fight against some cancers (more here) brewers began to look at ways to include more of it in their product.
Weihanstephan are marketing a product called Xan which contains higher than normal levels of this cancer fighting compound Xanthohumol. But according to researchers there’s not much point trying to fight cancer by drinking beer. The product contains far too little of the active ingredient for it to have any therapeutic effect.