Beer or seltzer? Leinenkugel’s Spritzen blurs category lines and offers both

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

"There are plenty of beers on the market and a variety of seltzers entering the category, but nobody is offering the best of both worlds except us."
"There are plenty of beers on the market and a variety of seltzers entering the category, but nobody is offering the best of both worlds except us."

Related tags: Beer, Citrus, shandy, seltzer, hard seltzer, Molson coors

Molson Coors is stacking its hard seltzer portfolio with the announcement of the Leinenkugel’s Spritzen. It claims to be the first to a new category, beer brewed with fruity seltzer.

Following the booming success of hard seltzers in North America, Molson Coors is betting big on the growing industry. It has recently announced three new variations of the drink from three different brands, all under its company umbrella.

The latest comes from Leinenkugel’s, known for its citrus shandy beers. The Spritzen line is modeled after the brand’s existing beer, and will be available in Grapefruit, Raspberry Lemon and Pineapple Strawberry.

Variety_Pack_2

The formula is described as having a beer-forward taste with the subtle fruit flavors of a seltzer. It’s primarily a beer drink with a ‘splash’ of seltzer. Each 12oz slim can contains 93 calories, 0g of sugar, 2.2g of carbs, no artificial ingredients and a 4.2% ABV.

“The beverage industry is continuing to grow and the rise of seltzers has been a big trend in recent years. With that said, consumers are also paying more attention to what they are drinking and the ingredient list,” ​Katie Leinenkugel, brand strategy and engagement lead at Leinenkugel, told BeverageDaily.

"There are plenty of beers on the market and a variety of seltzers entering the category, but nobody is offering the best of both worlds except us."

The product will be marketed toward the youngest group of legal-aged drinkers, who Leinenkugel believes are looking for ‘something more’ from hard seltzer. Spritzen is attempting to bridge the gap between seltzer's better-for-you qualities while maintaining the classic taste of beer.

Though owned by Molson Coors since 1988, Leinenkugel’s Brewery is still family-run in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Spritzen is set to appear on US shelves this week.

vizzy 2

A triple seltzer threat

Last month Molson Coors announced that its flagship Coors brand will release a hard seltzer product. It has not released photos or renderings, but said it will launch nationally in July with Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Mango and Grapefruit.

The Coors seltzer will also be packaged in 12oz slim cans, alongside 16oz and 24oz cans. It will directly compete with Vizzy, the first hard seltzer product Molson Coors announced from a new brand.

Vizzy is set to launch this month, and its Pineapple Mango, Black Cherry Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate and Strawberry Kiwi flavors are made with the vitamin C-enriched acerola cherry. Molson Coors is investing millions into the new brand, and expects it to pull in billions during 2020.

Sofia Colucci, North American VP of innovation for Molson Coors, said “Vizzy is still our big national bet in hard seltzers, but there’s no doubt we’ll push on Coors Seltzer given the strength of the proposition and the scale of Coors. But we are being smart about this. We’re coming at this market with distinct propositions.”

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