Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft 12oz and 16oz varieties will now be packaged in the Punch Top Can (pictured) as standard, where the innovation involves consumers piercing an additional hole in the top to increase airflow, with the firm promising a smoother pour.
“In our testing, consumers told us that they prefer the Punch Top Can three-to-one over the standard beer can because it’s more lie drinking from a pilsner glass,” Amy Breeze, director of innovation and activation for Miller Lite, said.
Tactile ink technology
Chicago-based Molson Coors said that its first Miller Lite 'Grip Cans' (pictured below) were launched in the US this spring, featured branding for Mexican soccer team Chivas de Guadalajara, while in the autumn the cans will feature NFL branding.
Molson Coors spokesman Scott Bussen told BeverageDaily.com: "The cans feature a special combination of ink and overvarnish that creates a tactile feel. We did some initial limited testing last year."
He added: "In addition to the distinctive design, the Grip Cans have a feel unlike the typical beer can. For example, the football cans this fall will have the feel of a football. It is not intended to help the consumer actually grip the can better; the intent is to give the consumer a special connection to the brand by providing a memorable experience through design."
On the beer side, March saw Molson Coors launch its first ever Coors Light line extension. Coors Light Iced T fuses beer with tea botanicals and natural lemon added during the filtration process.
Molson Coors is keen to tap a US thirst for ready-to-drink (RTD) that it identified as a “major grocery trend” with more than 1,500 new products introduced onto the US market since 2000.
“Coors Light Iced T adds a new twist to the trend through its unique combination of refreshing flavour, perfect for consumers seeking the ultimate in refreshment this summer," the firm said.
'Aluminium pint' production issues
Other innovations include an ‘aluminium pint’ bottle for Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft and Molson Canadian that can be resealed after opening, and is designed for outdoor occasions: picnics, campsites, park visits were examples the company gave.
"The Coors Light pint was initially in market for a period in 2010, but we ended production at the time while resolving some production-related issues. After resolving the issues to our full satisfaction, we began a phased roll-out last fall, culminating in full national availability of the Coors Light Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint by March of this year," Bussen said.
Molson Coors said that innovation had delivered more than $100m (€79.8m) of incremental gross profit to the firm, and also referenced major recent UK and Ireland launches, including limited addition, low alcohol citrus larger Carling Zest, which the company announced last Friday was now available on draught in UK pubs.
Also announced on April 12, Worthington’s seasonal varieties will be rolled-out in concert with the seasons. The first such launch is Spring Shield, available until the end of May.
Spring Shield is described as a ‘light golden, citrusy brew with a hint of wheat malt’, and Summer Shield,Autumn Shield and Winter Shieldlaunches are planned.