Molson Coors Cuts 11 Beers From Its Line Up

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Molson Coors struck a deal to buy StarBev, a leading Eastern European brewer, in a bid to expand to that region
Molson Coors struck a deal to buy StarBev, a leading Eastern European brewer, in a bid to expand to that region

Molson Coors (TAP) has announced that it will eliminate 11 beers as it looks to trim back its product lineup and refocus its business.

CEO Gavin Hattersley made the announcement during a company earnings call on Thursday, saying that the move would allow the company to continue its strategy of premiumization, Food Dive reported.

Molson Coors will invest more heavily in its global hard seltzer products while creating a smaller footprint of legacy brands, Hattersley said.

The 11 beers that will be axed, according to AdAge, include Milwaukee’s Best Premium, Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor Ice, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Keystone Ice, Hamm’s Special Light, Keylightful, Icehouse Edge, Magnum, Miller High Life Light, Steel Reserve 211, and Olde English HG 8000.

The reason for the wind-down of the brews, Hattersley said during the call, “The headline is simple: Premiumization is here to stay at Molson Coors," according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

“We're going to invest bigger behind our fast growing global hard seltzer portfolio and we are going to permanently streamline a smaller portfolio of legacy brands. We are excited about the progress we're making and we're not about to stop now,” he added.

The beer brands will not be discontinued, but rather a wind-down of the SKUs will occur. Hattersley explained that the Molson Coors team is discussing filling coolers with comparable products in some local areas, Food Dive reported.

The change in strategy is not surprising as consumers have shifted away from more traditional beers towards other alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. The IWSR Drinks Market reported that beer consumption in the U.S. dropped 7.5% from 2015 to 2020, as reported by Food Dive.

Hattersley told the news outlet in a June interview, “It was clear that people were looking for other alternatives and other choices and we were being at a clear disadvantage because we didn't play in some of those spaces. Our portfolio was pretty challenged.”

Molson Coors reported a sales increase of 17.4% for the second quarter of 2021, compared to the previous year.

“This quarter represents the best results we have had since implementing our revitalization plan nearly two years ago, and it delivered the most top-line growth of any quarter in over a decade,” Hattersley said in a statement released with Molson Coors’ Q2 earnings report.

Shares of Molson Coors were trading at $49.27 as of market open on Tuesday, up 2 cents, or 0.04%.


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