Anheuser-Busch InBev is accused of deceptive practices for watering down its beer. The accusers said that the information about the practice came from former employees at Anheuser-Busch. They have expert witness testimony regarding watered down beers including Michelob and Budweiser.
The lawsuit claimed that consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content indicated on the labels because Anheuser-Busch InBev added additional water to make beers with lower alcohol contents. The company denied the claims. It released a statement that said they adhere to the highest standards in brewing their beers. The company added that the beers comply with labeling laws.
The trust between A-B InBev and the consumer would be broken once the company is found guilty of deceptive practices. But even if it is not guilty, consumers would be wary about the company. Aside from the market share, profit share, and revenue share, companies must also compete with each other over share of trust.
According to a study made by the Corporate Executive Board on what makes buyers and consumers makes faster brand purchasing decisions came down to three factors and one of which is trust. If consumers learn not to trust A-B InBev then they would not buy and recommend the brand.
The second factor is the consumer’s knowledge of the brand. If the company is found guilty of diluting its beers, then consumers will look for alternatives. A-B InBev’s deceptive practice shows that it needs a new system in order to regain consumers’ trust. The PR work would not be about skills of brewing but about attitudes. If the company is found guilty, it must fire people responsible for the problem. The cleanup must start at the top.
A-B InBev is trying so hard to fight the accusations that consumers would feel betrayed if the company is found guilty of the claims. The brewer must have a transparent crisis management strategy that would be notable to the consumer.