Sol is partnering with hot sauce brand Tapatío for a series of beer-based cocktail recipes aimed at drinkers celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The fast-growing Mexican import beer and the hot sauce brand founded in 1971 by Guadalajara native Jose-Luis Saavedra Sr., have teamed up to make three cocktail recipes. They will cross-promote the drinks on social channels around the Sept. 16 holiday.
Celebrated by Mexicans around the world, including at large parades and gatherings in several U.S. cities with large Mexican populations, the holiday recognizes the day in 1810 when Mexico claimed independence from colonial occupier Spain.
Today, it's also a day of social gatherings featuring traditional Mexican food and beverages.
"When people make micheladas, they typically use Mexican beer and hot sauce," says Elizabeth Hitch, marketing manager for Sol. “Tapatío and Sol share an authentic Mexican heritage, making us the perfect partners for this campaign. And when you combine their great tastes, the results are delicious.”
Tapatío, a colloquialism given to people from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, is known for rich garlic and red pepper flavors. The hot sauce is made in Vernon, Calif., and distributed internationally. The company is still owned by the Saavedra family.
For the Mexican Independence Day-timed partnership, Hitch says, MillerCoors “saw that the two brands are a perfect fit."
Videos promoting the recipes went up in August and have been featured this week on digital media channels. The beer-based concoctions include a classic michelada, a spicy shrimp michelada and a spicy Sol sangria. All feature Sol as the base beer and a few dashes of Tapatío as a spicy accent.
The products also will be cross-merchandised on displays in select grocery, liquor and convenience stores in certain markets.
It is the latest in a series of moves this year by MillerCoors to build momentum behind the Mexican lager, which it relaunched with new packaging and advertising in April under a 10-year licensing agreement with Heineken.
The brand last month launched 16-ounce cans, focusing on breaking into venues throughout the U.S. in time for football season. So far, the beer has made its way into 17 professional football stadiums as well as a handful of NHL, NBA and college sports venues, Hitch says.
Sol has responded with booming sales. Year-to-date through Sept. 1, sales dollars of Sol are up 232 percent and volume is up 168.3 percent, per Nielsen cross-channel and convenience data. Since Sol’s redesign and new campaign kickoff in April, the numbers are even better, a trend that has continued through the summer. Over the most-recent four-week period, for instance, Sol is up 404.8 percent in sales dollars and 315 percent in volume.
"Sol is starting to gain momentum, and people are starting to take notice," Hitch says. "Everything is moving in the right direction for the brand; it's healthy, it's showing long-term growth potential and we're excited to see it continue to pick up momentum as we go into year two under MillerCoors."