MillerCoors next month will release a new variant of its Steel Reserve Alloy Series, aiming to continue the brand’s momentum.
Spiked Blue Razz, a flavored malt beverage sold in 16-ounce and 24-ounce cans, is set to debut at retail Dec. 1, joining Spiked Blackberry, Spiked Punch, Spiked Watermelon and Hard Pineapple.
Josh McDonald, associate marketing manager who supports the Steel Reserve Alloy Series, says the flavor is on-trend, also performing well in spirits, energy drinks and sports drinks. On top of that, Spiked Blue Razz outperformed Hard Pineapple — the Steel Alloy Reserve Series’ top-selling flavor — in consumer testing.
The new flavor follows the brand’s strategy to introduce “bold, fruit-forward flavors” that “help to introduce new legal-age drinkers to the beer and FMB categories,” McDonald says.
MillerCoors introduced the lineup to bring flavor diversity to the economy segment, a key point-of-entry for new legal-age drinkers. The goal with products like the Steel Reserve Alloy Series is to appeal to and retain customers who may otherwise migrate to low-priced spirits, which have been stealing share from beer over the last few years.
The strategy is paying dividends this year. Buoyed by additional distribution and incremental sales from Spiked Watermelon, which was introduced in January, the Steel Reserve Alloy Series is up 6.2 percent in convenience store sales dollars on a 6.3 percent bump in volume year-to-date through Oct. 21, according to Nielsen.
Results over the most-recent four weeks are even better: Sales dollars are up 13.1 percent and volume is up 13 percent, per Nielsen.
Supported with a new creative campaign behind the existing tagline, “Curious is Calling,” Spiked Blue Razz will be promoted with a digital campaign, point-of-sale advertising as well as other out-of-home placements.
“We’ve absolutely had a good year,” McDonald says. “We think we’re on the right track now with our flavor innovation and driving distribution. We’re looking forward to sustaining the brand momentum and continuing to drive the business forward.”