Molson Coors Tapping Into New Beers to Drive Sales

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Molson Coors Tapping Into New Beers to Drive Sales


DENVER -- Molson Coors Brewing Co. is launching several new products as it fights to gain a greater share of the struggling beer market. First on tap will be Coors Light Iced Tea.

Molson executives said during a meeting with analysts that the new products should help spur sales so the company can put less reliance on cost-cutting to drive its profit. The brewer also hopes to win back consumers who have made the switch to wine and other alcoholic beverages, according to Reuters.

"Someone else is eating our lunch in the alcohol space," Molson Coors’ Chief Executive Peter Swinburn said during the meeting, which was broadcast online.

The new Coors Light Iced Tea will hit store shelves first in Canada, where consumers are interested in flavored beers and other refreshing beverages, Molson executives said. However, they did not rule out bringing the product into the United States market as well.

Other new products will include Carling Zest, a limited-time-only beer with citrus flavors, and an autumn-inspired Leinenkugels beer, the news outlet reported.

Molson Coors is also ramping up its craft beer offerings through its Tenth and Blake unit. Specifically, executives said its new Batch 19 is performing better than expected. Additional rollouts are slated in April, and the craft beer is on target to be available in 40 U.S. markets by the fall.

In addition, execs at Molson Coors -- with core brands that include Molson Canadian, Coors Light and Blue Moon -- reported that the company will spend more this year on marketing, given its new products.

Unlike its rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, which have large businesses in developing and emerging markets, Molson Coors’ sales are concentrated in the mature markets of Canada, Britain and the United States. The company wants to accelerate growth in developing markets. It will focus on China, Russia, India and Ukraine, and on its Coors Light, Carling and Cobra brands, Reuters reported.

Currently, Molson Coors’ international division accounts for about 3 percent of its worldwide volume, but the company said its goal is for that unit to become a "significant contributor" to sales volume and profit growth by 2015.