How Anheuser's Eagle Became Extinct

The brewer saw synergies in beer and snacks. Big mistake

Eagle was grounded. As some 200 snack-food distributors gathered for a hastily assembled meeting in a suburban St. Louis hotel on Feb. 7, foreboding hung in the air. For August A. Busch III, the fiercely proud 58-year-old chairman of Anheuser-Busch Cos. whose powerful marketing machine dominates the U.S. beer industry, it was an extraordinary moment of defeat.

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