Early Malternative finally fads into Zunset
Zima, the sweet, clear malt beverage that was one of the first FMB’s, will soon be no more.
MillerCoors has stopped brewing Zima because of “challenging” sales and “declining consumer interest” in the flavored malt beverage segment, according to a statement by Andy England, chief marketing officer. The company will continue to fill distributor orders until the eand of the holiday season in December.
“This decision is necessary to reduce complexity when it comes to our brand portfolio, allowing for more focused activity at retail on consumer-preferred brands, especially Sparks,” England wrote in a memo released Monday by MillerCoors, a joint venture formed by merging Miller Brewing Co. and Coors Brewing Co.
Sparks is a citrus-flavored caffeinated malt beverage that was created to appeal to drinkers who mix energy drinks with vodka. It was launched in 2002 by McKenzie River Corp. and purchased by Miller in 2006.
The beverage drew ridicule from beer industry types and others, partly for the concept and partly for its ads, which used a lot of words beginning with the letter Z.
Launched by Coors in 1994, Zima had a successful debut, but sales quickly declined. It made a comeback a few years later, and helped fuel higher earnings for Coors. By the late 1990s, other flavored malt beverages began appearing, many of them spiked lemonades.