Blue Moon LightSky, the top-selling light beer in the craft segment, plans to release a second flavor in early 2022 called Blue Moon LightSky Tropical, Molson Coors said this week at its annual distributor convention in Las Vegas.
Brewed with a hint of real pineapple and orange peel, the light-bodied beer seeks to capitalize on the success of Blue Moon LightSky Citrus Wheat, which is up nearly 35% in sales volume year-to-date in 2021, good for a spot in the top 10-selling craft beer brands in the market, per IRI.
“LightSky is truly crushing it,” said Mara Schaefer, senior director of marketing for Molson Coors’ above-premium brands. “It’s growing double digits in every region, and that’s in a category that’s seeing declines after lapping” the massive off-premise stock-ups in 2020 spurred by the pandemic.
Like Blue Moon LightSky Citrus Wheat, LightSky Tropical checks in at 95 calories, placing the beer in line with a trend of consumers seeking lighter craft beer options with bolder flavors.
The beer pours a light golden color with a slight haze and carries an aroma of fresh, candied pineapple and orange with a tropical hop character.
“With craft flavored beer growing five times the rate of regular craft beer, we hope to give drinkers the variety they’re looking for,” said Sophia Lal, senior manager of innovation for Molson Coors, who notes that tropical is a growing flavor trend across all categories, including beer.
Tacking on another flavor of LightSky will help continue the momentum of Blue Moon, the top-selling franchise in the U.S. craft segment, as well as help build a stronger brand block at retail for the emerging LightSky brand, Lal says.
Despite launching in the teeth of a global pandemic, Blue Moon LightSky Citrus Wheat finished 2020 ranked as the top new beer innovation in the industry. And it’s continued to grow in 2021. What’s more, the brand has proved 96% incremental to flagship Belgian White.
That’s given Molson Coors the confidence to forge ahead with Blue Moon LightSky Tropical, which is slated to launch in February 2022 in 12-packs.
It will sit alongside Belgian White, LightSky and Blue Moon’s gold-medal winning Moon Haze, a hazy pale ale that launched last month.
“With each of our Blue Moon brands, we’ve formed a powerful team, one that’s sure to win with consumers, no matter the place, time or need,” Schaefer said.