CHICAGO — Molson Coors Beverage Co., Chicago, is focusing on its top innovations—Blue Moon LightSky, Vizzy and soon-to-debut Coors Seltzer—and stopping production of Saint Archer Gold.
While early results with the craft light lager’s launch were positive, the effects of the coronavirus on the beverage industry caused an immediate loss of momentum for the brand, Molson Coors Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques said in a memo on Friday.
Saint Archer Gold has 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs per 12-ounce can and was marketed as beer for active, health-conscious 25- to 44-year-old men and women. Molson Coors acquired a majority interest in San Diego-based Saint Archer Brewing in 2015.
The company will sell through existing inventory of Saint Archer Gold, St. Jacques said in the memo, which was shared with distributors, managers and other senior executives and communications contacts.
“I want to stress this decision is in no way a reflection of the team at the Saint Archer Brewing Co., their talents or their dedication to brewing high-quality beers,” St. Jacques said. “In a demanding marketplace, they continue to brew great beers like Hazy IPA, Tropical IPA and the popular 50/50 multipack franchise and their core portfolio is up 15.7% year-to-date through June 27, per Nielsen.”
Instead of focusing on Saint Archer Gold, Molson Coors is investing millions in its Fort Worth, Texas, brewery to boost capacity and support the production and packaging of its expanding portfolio of hard seltzers, the company said. The changes, including the installation of a new canning line and a filtration system, will increase hard seltzer production capacity by more than 400%, Molson Coors said.
The improvements are part of a larger plan to prepare the company for the future as it moves into beverages beyond beer.
“As we see our innovations take off, we want to be able to react quickly and take those products in-house when it makes sense from a business perspective,” said Brian Erhardt, chief supply chain officer at Molson Coors. “Vizzy is a good example. Once we saw it take off this year, we made a big bet on an investment in our slim-can capabilities as well as our production lines to better service our customers when it comes to supplying these products.”
Vizzy’s 12-pack variety packs ranked as the third new item across the beer and malt beverage category, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience-store data through June 27, preceded only by White Claw’s new variety 12-packs and Corona Hard Seltzer 12-packs.
Blue Moon LightSky is a light wheat beer with 95 calories. Coors Hard Seltzer will launch later this year in Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Mango and Grapefruit.