After stopping the production of their original millennial targeted beverage line just six months after its launch, MillerCoors is taking another chance at attracting the coveted demographic. The new line of flavored alcoholic beverages, called Cape Line, is set to be launched nationally in spring.
According to the company, Cape Line is designed for individuals looking to enjoy lower-calorie versions of their favorite drinks. Cape Line beverages will contain half the sugar and calories of traditional malt-based beverages and will be made from six natural ingredients. In addition, the beverages will be sweetened with fermented cane sugar and qualify as gluten-free. MillerCoors is also promoting Cape Line products as “sessionable” beverages, meaning that their alcohol by volume (ABV) is low enough for consumers to drink a few without getting too intoxicated.
“As a company, one of our top priorities is driving growth in above premium,” said Bryan Ferschinger, MillerCoors vice president of marketing for innovation and national crafts. “In addition to building on the foundation of existing great brands like Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s, Sol and Peroni, another way we’ll achieve growth in the segment is through innovation.”
The company hopes that Cape Line will find as much success as other low-calorie alcoholic beverages. According to Nielson data, flavored malt beverages (FMB) have outperformed the beer industry as a whole during the 52-week period ended August 4. The top 16 brands in the FMB space earned $2.4 billion in sales during this period which is a six percent increase from the previous period.
Top selling brands include Mike’s Harder, Twisted Tea, Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard, which are full-flavored beverages that contain over 190 calories per 12-oz serving. However, lighter flavored hard-seltzers with 100 calories or less per serving such as White Claw, Truly and Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water experienced triple-digit growth but on a much smaller base.
The company believes that Cape Line has a good chance at finding success in the FMB market because it incorporates two of the leading qualities of top selling FMB products: flavor and lower calories.
This announcement comes after the company decided to end the production of Two Hats, which were light beer products with hints of fruit flavor. These beverages were the company’s first go at developing a millennial targeted product. MillerCoors partnered with social-media influencers and brands on College Humor, Snapchat and YouTube to market Two Hats. However, when sales of this beverage line did not meet expectations, the company quickly pulled production to focus their efforts on improving their Coors Light line.
Considering the fact that Coors Light is the nation’s No. 2-selling beer and Miller Lite posted volume gains recently, the company shouldn’t be too concerned about these brands. This might be why they have already come out with another millennial-targeted product.
Ferschinger says that the company will soon roll out a “robust national marketing plan,” for Cape Line.
“With Cape Line, we are bringing a relevant, unique solution to consumers, one that we believe has significant runway,” he said.