Miller Brewing Co. is to launch a beer flavoured with lime and salt, a brand that will take its cue from "chelada", a Mexican-style beer.

The US arm of brewing giant SABMiller will unveil Miller Chill in March and plans to test launch the product in five markets, including Florida, Texas and San Diego.

Miller Chill has been modelled on "chelada" beers, brands that are "personalised" by Hispanic consumers, who add lime and salt to their beer, a Miller spokesman said today (6 February).

"Miller Chill is a modern American take on a Mexican classic," the spokesman told just-drinks.

The product will compete with mainstream light beers, brands that are continuing to grow in popularity in the US.

The spokesman said Miller Chill would be priced between Miller Lite and the import segment, a category lead by Mexican beer Corona.

The launch of Miller Chill, which will be supported by TV advertising in its five test markets, is a further sign that Miller is targeting the more buoyant segments of the US beer market as sales of domestic, mainstream beer remain flat.

In January, Miller began selling Colombian beer Aguila and two Peruvian brands, Cristal and Cusquena, all products that are part of SABMiller's global portfolio.

Last July, SABMiller bought two niche US beer brands, Sparks and Steel Reserve, in a deal worth US$215m.