Friday, February 11, 2011

Walgreens Rx for Growth: Beer!

"Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life's problems."—Homer Simpson.

Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) has expanded the definition of "medicine" once again with the introduction of its own private label beer called Big Flats 1901. A six-pack sells for $2.99—less than the cost of a $4 prescription!

The beer's tagline: "It’s the water that makes it." (Legal disclaimer: It does not say "...makes it good.")

Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA, provides his review of this important industry development in the video clip below.

Question: Could this be revenge for CVS Caremark's (NYSE:CVS) first-mover advantage in the drugstore industry's Chia Obama wars?

Click here if you can't see the video. The Walgreen story starts at 2:13.


  1. Once again Adam not only informs us of important channel developments but keeps us updated on the latest Colbert tips! Pop a top on us, Adam! Great end to the week!

  2. Is there a discount if I buy 90?

  3. Adam,

    I love beer and this is good for the healthcare of our American community. Making beer more affordable is what this country was founded on. I think the next move for Walgreens will be to offer a 6-pack of Big Flats 1901 for any new or transferred prescription. Great article! Have a fantastic day.

  4. "a 6-pack of Big Flats 1901 for any new or transferred prescription"

    HA! But be careful what you wish for...someone might take this idea seriously. A fifth of Bentonville Bourbon for a transferred Rx?


  5. Adam:

    What a great story! So is Budweiser a new client?

    Best regards,

  6. Doesn't this scream "HI WE ARE WALGREENS AND WE ARE ABOUT MAKING MONEY ANY-WAY WE CAN,...INCLUDING THE SELLING OF OUR OWN BRANDED BEER!!!" Walgreens isn't about pharmacy or healthCARE...they are about their distribution of products and profits. I have no problem with profits but stop marketing business as a "pharmacy" and just go with Grocery Store or Wal-Mart wannabee.

  7. I agree. I've been talking about this for a while. I'm not a Walgreens pharmacist, but almost was. I was offered a job when I graduated a few years ago. I'm more glad than ever I turned down that job. It would be a real moral dilemma for to work for a place that claims to support pharmacist and the practice of modern pharmacy like they do, yet sells beer. You should have heard the crap they were saying in the interviews. Bull! A place that really believed in those values would not develop their own branded beer. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of all sorts of chronic diseases.

    I can understand the store selling beer (much like grocery stores with pharmacies do), but not developing their own freakin' brand...and selling it for cheap.

    Their reps are probably claiming the cheap beer is proof they are the pharmacy that cares. The lower price means people can afford to support their alcoholism and still get their heart disease and diabetes medications

  8. Sara!! AMEN! Exactly what I was getting at and this is blatant. Selling beer as a convenience is one thing but developing your own brand specifically to gain more profit of the selling of alcohol is another...and then calling yourself a H E A L T H-CARE provider.

  9. Looks like beer will be the first of many products, according to yesterday's New York Times: Walgreens Launches Campaign to Push Store-Brand Products.

    "...the drugstore chain will begin the first national advertising campaign for Walgreens branded health and wellness products on Sunday. The campaign is the first time Walgreens has gone beyond Sunday newspaper circulars and in-store signs to advertise its own brand."

    I'll leave it to Drug Channels readers to speculate on what comes next after beer!


  10. Adam,

    There is no other business model like the retail
    "drug store". Maybe Walgreens and the rest can start offering "mail order" pharmacist's diplomas.
    That would really help the bottom line.

  11. Yikes! For a minute there I thought I was developing a latent conflict of interest. I was starting to love WAG. So I worked hard to try to remember getting beer from our mail order pharmacies, and alas could not. But then, in the nick of time, I remembered that I’m a BUD man and so everything is back to normal again. Whew!

  12. Walgreen's only cares about the Benjamins. After working for an in-depended pharmacy for many years where we went the extra step for the pt,than walking in to Walgreen's I quickly see that they do not care about the patent. It is all about what we can make and how we can do it. This new beer business just adds to the list. How can you be all about health care and "making the people well" and sell beer.?


  13. Whatever wallgreen does or launch shouldn't be considered as good for us. Have they got FDA approval? Since the so-called beer is intended for therapeutic effects, it must have backing of government body.