Country of Origin Branding: “German“ Beer from St. Louis

blog_post_becks_lawsuit_german_beerSauerkraut, Bratwurst and Beer are probably perceived as the most typical German food. The latter is now subject of a US lawsuit on misleading statements on the country of origin.

“German Quality” or “Originated in Bremen, Germany”: These claims can be found on cans and bottles of the German brewery Beck’s in the US – although the beer for the US market is brewed in St. Louis, Missouri.

US beer drinkers obviously feel cheated by these misleading statements. They expected a beer and quality from Germany – and got a product produced in the US. The lawsuit is a clear acknowledgement of the predicate “Made in Germany”, which is usually associated with values like “top quality”. At the same time, it confirms the “Country of Origin” effect saying that consumers’ and other stakeholders’ broad general perceptions of a country combine to create an overall reputation that is attached to the products and services of that particular country.

The misleading statements on their cans and bottles might turn out very expensive for AB Inbev, world’s largest brewing company and owner of Beck’s. According to the Wall Street Journal, Beck’s and the plaintiff reached a settlement saying that every customer can claim a refund of up to $ 50 for beers purchased since 2011.

By the way: In Germany, Beck’s just launched a range of international beers, like Pale Ale and Amber Lager.

Please click here to learn more on Country of Origin Branding and our services in this area. An article on can be found here. If you are interested in further discussions on Country of Origin Branding (COOB) you are invited to join the LinkedIn group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *