The company says that launching a hard seltzer as a line extension of a beer brand hasn’t worked out as well as its independent seltzer brands. It will channel its efforts into ‘red-hot’ Topo Chico and Vizzy, which are the #3 and #5 top growth brands in the segment over the last four weeks.
Coors Seltzer will remain available in Canada, where Molson Coors observes different market dynamics and the brand has performed well (achieving a 3.7% share of the category and the #6 spot in the segment nationwide within four months of launch).
Are beer brands any good as seltzers?
Molson Coors launched Coors Seltzer in the US in October 2020, championing it as its ‘strongest play against seltzer offerings from other beer brands' and a brand 'able to win where people are looking for a trusted beer brand’.
But now Molson Coors sees the core problem with Coors Seltzer as the very fact that it is a line extension of a beer brand – a strategy similarily being used and championed by other big brewers such as Anheuser-Busch with Bud Light and Constellation Brands with Corona Hard Seltzer.
Molson Coors points out that, while Coors Seltzer has struggled, standalone brand Vizzy has grown.
“Hard Seltzer is still a fairly young segment of the industry, and we’re all continuing to learn more about it every day. One of the things we’ve learned over the past year is that, overall, seltzers that are line extended off existing beer brands don’t perform as well as others,” says Molson Coors.
“It’s never easy to discontinue a brand that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. However, if a brand isn’t performing up to our expectations, we will pivot quickly and shift resources where they can make a bigger impact.
“Our distribution for Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has been strong from the get-go and continues to gain traction. Vizzy has seen tremendous success with its recent innovation, and there is a huge opportunity to close the gaps on this brand through co-displaying Vizzy VP1, VP2, Vizzy Lemonade and Vizzy Watermelon. In fact, we see 66% higher velocity rates for each pack when stores have three Vizzy Variety Packs in distribution."