Miller Brings the Chill

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Miller Brings the Chill

LAS VEGAS -- Look for a new beer coming to shelves this summer. After exceeding expectations in sales and distribution in test markets, Miller Chill, a light beer inspired by the Mexican chelada, is going national.

"This summer we will take Miller Chill across the U.S.," said Tom Long, Miller Brewing Co. president and CEO, at the Miller Distributor Conference. "It has beaten every expectation we've had."

Miller Chill was introduced in test markets this spring. They included Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, San Diego and Texas, reported.

Miller Chief Marketing Officer Randy Ransom told distributors that the beer has found volume largely from Anheuser-Busch brands, and cannibalization of its own products -- specifically Miller Lite -- has been low.

The brand has mainstream appeal and a superpremium price. Miller Chill fits in with other fast-growing segments such as imports and craft, he added.

The brand targets the cultural trend of an increasing Hispanic presence in the American culture. The popularity of light beer and the consumer shift to other beer styles such as imports and craft also plays a role.

Distributors are eager for the arrival. "I've been champing at the bit," said Gregg Christiansen of Columbia Distributing. "The sooner the better."