Well, one big story in the news has been that Ambev / Budweiser has been watering down their beer to lower than label alcohol levels (that were none too high to start with…) As anyone who has had a “3.2 Beer” aka “PissWater Beer” can tell you, drop the alcohol below the 4.x into the 3.x and all you do is pee a lot, and wonder where the flavor went.
It has not become much of a scandal, IMHO, simply because anyone who actually expected real beer in their beer was not consuming BudWiper anyway…
While I heard the story on a couple of broadcast shows (at least one of which being a financial channel where the assertion was that a suit had been brought) I’ve not been able to find a link. (Complicated by just what company name to use, and which beer, and that “dilute” and “water” pull up a load of other stories…) But I did find this one showing the same thing is happening in Europe:
Inflation Rocks The UK As Beer Gets Watered Down
These types of stories are popping up with increased frequency throughout the western world. Products are simply declining in quality, and in many cases these declines are being accompanied by price increases. Remember my article from a week ago Inflation Hits Coffee as Brewers Secretly Swap Robusta for Arabica. This is more or less the same story, except this time in the UK and centered around beer. From CNBC:
Britain’s favorite pint of bitter is being watered down as austerity continues to bite and taxes rise.
John Smith’s Extra Smooth, billed as “no nonsense beer”, is being reduced from 3.8 percent alcohol to 3.6 percent in response to rising costs and reduced beer consumption.
Heineken, which is also raising the cost of the famous bitter by about 2.5 pence a pint, said it was bringing John Smith’s “in line with competitor smooth ales that already sit at or below this alcoholic strength”, including its biggest rival, Carlsberg’s Tetley Smoothflow.
So who knows, if the suit against Inbev / Anheuser-busch / Budweiser is real, and goes anywhere, Bud might have to put full strength beer in their cans… or not..
Now we have news from Britain that Taco Bell in the UK has been one of those buyers who have found a European meat supplier slipped some horse meat into their “beef”. One must simply wonder if there were any Burros in the EU as part of the ‘mix’ and might the Taco Bell Burrito actually contain some real Burro? (You do know that is where the name comes from, no?…)
Has an interesting picture (Photoshopped) of a horse heating a giant taco… shades of BSE and cannibal cows…
For those playing the home version of Horse Meat Bingo, go ahead and daub the Taco Bell square.
The latest round of tests conducted by Britain’s Food Standards Agency found that ground beef used at all local Taco Bell locations contained trace amounts of horse DNA.
Taco Bell released a statement saying it conducted its own testing, which confirmed the FSA’s findings.
Imagine a world where your beer has beer in it and your burrito has burro in it… Or not.
One other “inflation check”:
At Trader Joe’s (a grocer here) they have had Charles Shaw wine, an affordable OK bottle, for $2 for years. It’s commonly called “2 Buck Chuck”. At my last visit, the price was up to $2.50 and they have stopped trying to defend the round dollar price. Similarly, “whole chicken” had been ‘below a buck a pound’ nearly forever. Now running $1.35 or so just about everywhere, with some higher.
It’s pretty darned clear that the “no inflation” numbers are flat out lies from Government and that “cheapen the product” is now all the rage. “Inspectors” or no. (So if the “inspectors” and “regulation” result in this kind of crap, what’s the point? Why have them, or pay for them, if they accomplish nothing?…)
Not sure where to go for “preservation of value” as the metals are being dodgy right now, and stocks are wobbling in a ‘topping motion’ with lower volume on rising days and higher volume on drops. Anything denominated in any of Euro, $US, Japanese Yen, or the Chinese Yuan pegged to the $US, is pretty much in the same inflation bucket, just taking turns against each other.
Well, I’d drown my sorrows in a beer or wash down my taco with some “2 Buck Chuck”, but it looks like either of those is “risky business” and has raised issues about the “value for money spent”.
Maybe I’ll just take out a loan and buy dinner…