Beer Run

Coors forced to narrow Cooler Box distribution to 11 states

BOULDER, Colo. -- One month after rolling out its new 18-pack Plastic Bottle Cooler Box, there's good news and bad news at Coors Brewing Co. The good news is, Cooler Box sales have outperformed pre-rollout volume estimates by four times. The bad news is, the demand has left Coors short on supply.

The result is a temporary scaling back of distribution to just 11 states until Coors can increase bottle production. We're working to meet [distributors'] demands because we honestly made reasonable estimates before the launch, and demand is coming in so much [image-nocss] higher than we planned, Coors spokesperson Kabira Hatland told CSP Daily News. We're working with the suppliers [of the bottles] to try to return to nationwide distribution, but we don't have a date.

Introduced on May 1, the 18-pack Plastic Bottle Cooler Box is an ice-ready package of 16-oz. bottles of Coors Light that becomes a portable cooler upon being filled with ice. The bottles aremade of unbreakable plastic, which means consumers can take them where glass isn't allowed, whether it's the pool or the beach, said Hatland.

Unfortunately, Coors hit the shortage just as the summer selling season began, forcing the company to pull back on deliveries even as an initial television advertising campaign wrapped up.

For at least the coming month, the Coors Light Cooler Boxes will be available only in Coors' top beer volume states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. Hatland did not know when the company might return to total distribution.