Cash-strapped drinkers are starting to trade down to economy beers, the chief executive of Miller Brewing Co. said Thursday.
The Milwaukee-based brewer saw some shift between higher-priced, premium beers and economy beers such as Miller High Life and Milwaukee's Best starting in January, Tom Long told reporters on a conference call.
"We think it's primarily driven by decline of disposable income and pocket money that American consumers are feeling right now," he said.
....Americans also are spending less in bars and restaurants, and Long said Miller is seeing declines in sales to those businesses.
....Sales of flagship brand Miller Lite was up 1.1 percent, as were sales of Miller High Life. That brand's performance, on the strength of its humorous ad campaign urging people to "Take Back The High Life" reversed a three-year decline.