Buoyed by a fast start with Spiked Blue Razz, a surge in sales of Spiked Watermelon and continued strength of its top-selling Hard Pineapple, the Steel Reserve Alloy Series finished 2017 on a torrid run.
The MillerCoors flavored malt beverage was up 16.2 percent in both sales dollars and case volume in the four weeks ending Dec. 23, bringing the series to up 5.5 percent in both sales dollars and case volume year-to-date, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience store data.
The Alloy Series outpaced the overall FMB category, sales of which were up 3.1 percent over the four-week period and 0.2 percent year-to-date, per Nielsen.
Spiked Blue Razz, which debuted Dec. 1, joined Blk Berry, Spiked Punch, Spiked Watermelon and Hard Pineapple. Spiked Watermelon benefited from “accelerated distribution in the second half of the year” as distributors bought into the flavor, which was “pivotal to the overall franchise growth,” says Josh McDonald, associate marketing manager who supports the Steel Reserve Alloy Series.
The introduction of new flavors helps drive continued interest in the brand, as well as introduce new legal-age drinkers to the beer and FMB categories.
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.
Each of the Alloy Series FMBs has 8 percent alcohol-by-volume and are sold in 16-ounce and 24-ounce cans.
The brand is equally bullish about 2018, McDonald says. “We’re excited about the momentum that we have going into next year, as we look to drive more flavors in the cooler door.”