CHICAGO — Molson Coors Beverage Co. is investing heavily in its hard seltzer and Blue Moon LightSky production capacities, the company said in reporting its third-quarter 2020 results.
In addition to looking ahead, the call focused on how the company grew over the past year since it first announced its revitalization plan.
Molson Coors laid out a plan in October 2019 that streamlined the organization and reinvesting its resources into brands and capabilities. It was designed to build on the strength of its iconic core brands, aggressively grow its above premium portfolio and plant the seeds for future growth outside beer, the Chicago-based company said. The plan also involved changing the company’s name from Molson Coors to Molson Coors Beverage and cutting up to 500 jobs.
A year later, Molson Coors Beverage President and CEO Gavin Hattersley highlighted how the company made progress on its revitalization goals and acknowledged the challenges COVID-19 has brought.
Total net sales decreased 3.6% in constant currency in the third quarter, driven by financial volume declines related to on-premise restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the company said.
In North America, net sales decreased by 0.8% in constant currency. North America shipping timing was positive in the third quarter, by was negatively impacted by packaging material constraints, Molson Coors Beverage said.
"The challenges throughout the year presented a lot of new obstacles, for us and every other business around the world,” Hattersley said. “But we met each challenge head-on and we never lost sight of our goals or the path we set out on early in the year. Now we are showing what's possible when we execute that plan and it’s our strategy that will allow us to reach further as we drive toward top-line growth."
Highlights of the past year include …
Above premium products hit a record high portion of the company’s U.S. portfolio in the third quarter. Blue Moon has seen the largest growth in the off premise among all craft brand families in 2020, according to Nielsen.
Molson Coors Beverage also announced a joint venture with Pottsville, Pa.-based D.G. Yuengling & Son to bring its beers to the West for the first time.
Vizzy Hard Seltzer rose to No. 8 on the Nielsen top-10 growth brands chart, and the company believes it can capture a double-digit share of the U.S. seltzer market by the end of 2021. Molson Coors Beverage also entered into an exclusive agreement with The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, to manufacture, market and distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the United States.
Expanding beyond beer
Molson Coors Beverage's Canadian cannabis joint venture, Truss, released a line of cannabis-infused drinks across Canada this year.
In November 2019, it took a significant stake in L.A. Libations, an El Segundo, Calif-based beverage company that makes organic aloe vera water, a ready-to-drink vegan shake and more.
It also expanded distribution of La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ ready-to-drink coffee products in convenience and drug stores nationwide through a 10-year distribution deal between the companies.
Investing in capabilities
Molson Coors Beverage plans to expand its hard seltzer and Blue Moon LightSky production capacity by 400% to support continued growth. It also commissioned a new sleek can production line, capable of producing 750 million cans per year, it said.
The company also boosted online sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic by about 200%, while developing new e-commerce and direct to consumer channels in Canada.
Supporting people and communities
The company made progress on its goal of increasing representation of people of color by 25% across the United States, including leadership positions, by the end of 2023. It also provided support to 25 national and local organizations working to address issues of equality, empowerment, racial justice and more.