Just one week after Anheuser-Busch announced it will launch a new non-beer malt drink, Miller Brewing dropped test marketing of a fruit-flavored malt beverage to focus on its core beer brands.
Miller’s drink, Brutal Fruit, didn’t pan out with consumers when it was tested this spring and summer in three cities: Richmond, Va., Tampa, Fla., and Seattle, said Miller spokesman Peter Marino.
Brutal Fruit is basically fruit juice with 5% alcohol by volume, a level similar to beer. Available in four flavors, it has does well in South Africa with the main consumers are women between 24 and 35. Brutal Fruit and other flavored malt beverages are aimed at consumers in their 20s who grew up drinking juice and soda and favor sweeter beverages.
Partially in response to the fact that beer has been losing sales to spirit-based drinks, many of them sweet, Anheuser-Busch announced the launch of Tilt, a new raspberry-flavored, caffeinated malt beverage. Last November A-B rolled out B-to-the-E, a beer infused with caffeine, ginseng and fruit flavors.
Miller is in the second year of its turnaround, which has happened mainly because its largest brand, Miller Lite, continues to record growing sales. With Lite performing well, Miller is now working on new marketing campaigns for Miller High Life and Miller Genuine Draft, Marino said.
“We will aggressively look at products that have had success in other parts of the world for SABMiller,” Marino said. “But we’re going to be very disciplined in what we ask our system to focus on and support.”