Molson Coors focuses on economy brands

Molson Coors has been working to strengthen and refocus its US portfolio of well-established economy brands, a critical roster of beers and flavoured malt beverages that drive a substantial part of Molson Coors’ business.

In 2021, the company unveiled the first step of that plan: Streamlining the portfolio in the US to focus on four key brands in four key verticals: Miller High Life (regular beer), Keystone Light (light beer), Steel Reserve (flavor) and Icehouse (ice beer).

“We knew we need to make hard choices last year given the complexity we had in our portfolio and (a desire) to make our operation more efficient. Our goal was to focus on the brands that can drive our business, that can help us grow in this segment,” says Katya Chen, director of Molson Coors’ economy brands. 

“The changes we implemented made our economy portfolio stronger.”

While Molson Coors has shifted its overall portfolio into more above-premium offerings, it remains committed to its economy brands, which will continue to play an important role in its U.S. portfolio.

Those lower-priced brands draw in younger legal-age drinkers, have the ability to grow Molson Coors’ footprint in both urban and rural areas and provide space for innovation.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of this segment and its consumers,” Chen says. “They are very loyal. They drive the most (shopping) trips, the highest repeats rates, highest (annual spend on beer) – the list goes on. It’s a segment we can’t ignore.”

As Molson Coors moves into its first full year of the strategy, Chen and her team are preparing a blueprint for each brand to win over consumers and stabilise share of the sizeable segment.  

“We’re clearly focused with our target consumers with each of these brands,” she says.

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