Budweiser is taking jabs at craft beer.
In one of its Super Bowl ads, the company poked fun at “Pumpkin Peach Ale.” In an earlier commercial online, a man is bullied by a Clydesdale horse into choosing Budweiser over a craft brew.
The snarky ads come as Budweiser is quickly losing its status as the most iconic beer brand in America.
A recent company study found that 44% of drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never tried the brand, reports Tripp Mickle at The Wall Street Journal.
Budweiser is the third-most-popular beer brand in America, behind Bud Light and Coors Light. It has recently also been challenged by craft beer, which is hugely popular with the millennial set.
At the brand’s peak in 1988, it was selling 50 million barrels of beer a year. That number has declined to 16 million barrels.
Meanwhile, Budweiser is trying to acquire craft breweries to make up the difference. The company has reportedly acquired Elysian Brewing Co., which has a pumpkin peach ale.
Anheuser-Busch also owns brands like ZiegenBock out of Texas and Kokanee in Canada.
The company is getting heat on social media.
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) February 2, 2015
While Budweiser is mocking craft beer, it has been buying craft breweries and trying to seem more like a millennial brand.
The company’s move to finally reveal the ingredients in its beer was also probably an attempt to attract millennials, who notoriously care more about what they’re consuming.
The disclosure came after popular millennial blogger Vani Hari started a petition asking for major breweries to list what’s in their beer.
“Nearly every other food and beverage provider is legally required to make this information available — yet these two companies, which collectively sell more than $US75 billion in beers each year, have not,” Hari wrote on her blog, Food Babe, referring to Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors.
Budweiser contains six ingredients: water, barley, malt, rice, yeast, and hops.
Craft beer’s wholesome image has helped contribute to its popularity with young drinkers.
Last year, Budweiser designed a can shaped like a bow-tie to attract millennials.
The design was intended to appeal to trend-seekers and “young adults who haven’t yet tried a Budweiser,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Lisa Brown wrote.
A Budweiser spokesman said the company didn’t mean to offend customers.
“It’s a bold, proud statement of what Budweiser is, rather than an attack on competition,” he told the Phoenix New Times. “It’s an unpretentious beer for those who know beer.”
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