MillerCoors announced a new brand of flavored alcohol beverages called Cape Line less than a month after shutting down its Two Hats beer. The new premium beverage is designed to hit key points in the market: consumer demand for flavored beverages and the desire for lower calories. Both appeal to younger consumers.
Cape Line will “enter a space that’s outperformed the beer industry as a whole over the 52-week ended August 4,” according to the announcement, citing Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. It also states that the top 16 brands in the space, which grew by 6 percent to $2.4 billion in sales in that same period. Additionally, flavored hard seltzers have grown by triple digits over the same period with a considerably smaller base.
“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 a statement. “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.”
He added that the new brand will be supported with a “robust national marketing plan,” when it launches in the spring.
MillerCoors launched the Two Hats beer brand earlier this year with the tagline, “good, cheap beer.” But despite an extensive experiential and digital marketing campaign across social media in partnership with College Humor, Snapchat, Spotify and others, the beer failed to catch on with millennials who generally prefer wine and spirits. This led the brewing company to discontinue the Two Hats brand in August, choosing to focus on improving Coors Light sales.
The Cape Line brand is designed to lean into the existing tastes of young consumers instead of seeking to change them, with an emphasis on flavor and low calories over price, but it is also entering a crowded market. Its introduction comes as US domestic beer sales are in decline among millennials.
MillerCoors has not responded for comment on what the Cape Line marketing campaign would entail.