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Beer Companies Looking Beyond Beer for Growth
CNBC.com | March 07, 2012 | 03:13 PM EST

It appears the fastest way to growth for many beer companies is to look beyond beer.

The latest example came Tuesday when Molson Coors Brewing announced it is launching Coors Light Iced Tea in Canada next month, with a possible U.S rollout at a later date. The drink is being billed as “Coors Light with a refreshing taste of Iced Tea” and will be 4 percent alcohol.

“Coors Light Iced Tea addresses some of the occasions that currently beer doesn't go into. It's a great proposition” Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn told CNBC Wednesday. “We've got the world's most refreshing alcoholic beer sort of meeting up with the most refreshing nonalcoholic drink in the world. Those two things go really well together.”

Molson executives say the move is designed to make beer more attractive to people who have moved on to wine or cocktails. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the volume of spirits sold in the U.S. rose 2.7 percent last year while beer sales saw an overall decline of one percent, the third consecutive yearly decline.

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