Analysis

Analysis - Light at the end of the tunnel for MillerCoors?

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MillerCoors’ full-year results today (13 February) revealed how the JV is continuing to see a rebalancing of where it generates sales.

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The SABMiller and Molson Coors partnership’s light beers - Coors Light and Miller Lite - both saw full-year sales decline, while its “above premium”, craft-like, brands are still posting growth.

But, can the brewer reinvigorate its light brands, despite consumers heading more towards its more flavourful, premium offerings? 

Nomura analysts suggest MillerCoors' latest marketing strategy around its light beers may be helping, slightly. Miller Lite saw “some benefit” from the launch of a “retro” can in select US markets in the fourth quarter, Nomura flagged in a note earlier today after the results statement. And, a focus on packaging could provide further benefit this year.

“We see an opportunity for better Miller Lite performance in 2014 as the retro can is rolled out nationally, and the rollout of Miller Lite retro pint bottles from 1 April,” the Nomura note says.

With premium light still accounting for around 55% of MillerCoors' volumes, and the segment representing a third of the overall US beer market, it’s little surprise that the company still cares about this sub-category.

But, will packaging changes be enough to save light beer from longer-term volume decline? 


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