Coors embarks on ambitious plans to revamp beer market

16 November, 2007

Grolsch Weizen and lower abv version are first in vision for expansion

Coors is planning to expand the Grolsch portfolio with a 4 per cent abv version of the premium lager and by launching wheat beer Grolsch Weizen in the off-trade.

"There has been a decline in the premium continental lager category - if you look at the performance of continental premium beers such as Stella, Kronenbourg and Grolsch, overall the category is suffering," said Coors portfolio activation director David Wigham.

"We have seen the introduction of 4 per cent abv continentals, and we ourselves will be entering that arena in the new year with Grolsch. We will have details to release very shortly, but at this stage it is just to say we are watching that category carefully with Grolsch, and will be revealing our plans in due course."

Grolsch Weizen, a 5.3 per cent wheat beer brewed in Holland and sold in a 45cl swingtop glass bottle, was launched in the on-trade last year. The bottles contain yeast sediment and should be poured in a particular way: pour more than half the beer into a glass, reseal the bottle, carefully roll it to loosen the yeast and then pour the rest of the beer out.

"We are broadening the Grolsch portfolio with some beers which are already successful in Holland," Wigham added.

The launches are part of Coors' plan to revamp beer's overall image, which has suffered as the popularity of wine has risen, said Wigham. "In the UK, people are spending more and more on alcohol yet the beer market continues to shrink.

"If you look at statistics, if someone is in an outlet just for a drink, beer is the most popular drink in the on-trade, but as soon as a meal is introduced wine becomes the populist drink.

"That is an area we need to influence - we've got some fabulous beers that go great with food and lots of plans to broaden the appeal for beer."

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