15 hottest products of 2008: Bud Light Lime

Bruce Watson

Earlier this year, Budweiser introduced Bud Light Lime, a citrus-flavored competitor for Miller Chill, the lime-flavored beer that Bud's major competitor launched in 2007. The new Bud Light joined Bud Light Clamato, a chelada-style beer that is currently sold in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Accompanying the release of this new beverage, Bud launched a $35 million ad campaign, a strategy that paid off with a 2% rise in sales in the first three quarters of 2008.

Popular flavors tend to go in waves, and limes have been ascendant for a couple of years now, showing up wherever a crisp, summery flavor seemed appropriate. As they have wormed their way into corn chips and sodas, it was only a matter of time before they became part of the beer market. After all, the idea of mixing beer with citrus dates back to at least the first days of hefeweisens in Austria, and a slice of lime has long been the traditional accompaniment for a bottle of Corona. This makes sense; the clean, sharp flavor of lime juice cuts beautifully through the thick, yeasty tones of beer, yielding a combination that is both tasty and refreshing.