Miller High Life Passes the Century Mark

Miller High Life, once the flagship brand of Miller Brewing, passed the
century mark on January 2nd. The venerable Miller brand has become
overshadowed by trendier drinks and pushed aside by light and low-carb
beers, but Miller Brewing’s former flagship brand is trying to revive
its heritage. High Life was the beer behind the “Miller Time” campaign
of the 1970s, when the beer was promoted as a reward at the end of a
long, hard day at work. The brand peaked in 1979; today, it’s the 9th
biggest brand in the U.S., eclipsed by other brands, including stable
mate Miller Lite. The High Life brand is Miller’s oldest, and made its
debut in 1903, about 50 years after German immigrant Frederick Miller
founded Miller Brewing Company. After Miller peaked in sales in the
1960s and 1970s, High Life sales, as well as sales of other aging
domestic brands such as Old Style and Old Milwaukee, have been in
decline over the last two decades. Now, Miller is looking to refocus on
a niche base of High Life customers. The brand’s current media
advertising spots feature the populist “high life man.” The marketing
strategy might even be paying off, even though High Life’s production
continues to be just a fraction of its peak; brand sales have stabilized
and even increased slightly in recent years. The brand may have hope
among younger consumers, too, if the rise in Pabst Blue Ribbon’s
popularity among the under-30 crowd is any indication.

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