Feeling Stale, Molson Ready For Its Makeover

on 13/04/11 at 1:50 pm

Industry

or years, the Molson beer brands sold by Molson Coors Brewing Co. have ceded the spotlight in their Canadian homeland to American cousin Coors Light, which eclipsed Budweiser as Canada’s top-selling brew last year.

Molson Coors is now making a big push to rejuvenate the Molson name through a series of new products and marketing campaigns. The brewer this week unveiled Molson Canadian 67 Sublime, a lemon- and lime-infused version of the low-calorie brew it introduced in Ontario about 18 months ago.

Sublime is the latest of several new products created under the Molson label to respond to shifting consumer tastes in Canada, where drinkers are ordering more specialty beers or wine. The company recently expanded Molson M—a lager positioned as sophisticated and easy to drink—to the entire country and revamped advertising campaigns for trademark brands Molson Canadian and Molson Export.

The brewer has made innovation the cornerstone of its strategy to increase sales in Canada, where industry sales volumes have slipped by about 1% for two years in a row in a sluggish economy. Canada’s beer market is valued at $16 billion. Molson Coors controls about 42% of sales volumes when including its licensing agreements and joint ventures with SABMiller PLC, Heineken NV and Mexico’s Grupo Modelo SAB. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which owns Canada’s Labatt Brewing Co., also has about a 42% share. Budweiser is an Anheuser brand.

Molson Coors, with headquarters in both Montreal and Denver, said it has introduced more new products in Canada over the past 18 months than it did in roughly the previous 15 years. “Consumers are extremely savvy today, so we have to raise the bar,” said Dave Perkins, chief executive of Molson Coors Canada.

{Full story via WSJ}

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