Behind Blue Moon’s plans for a big year

Blue Moon is out with a new look, a simplified product lineup and an imminent national marketing campaign, marking the brand’s most comprehensive refresh in years and showcasing its aggressive plans for 2024.

It all starts with the brand’s new visual identity, which accomplishes two goals for Blue Moon, according to Mara Schaefer, senior director of brand marketing for Molson Coors’ above-premium beer portfolio.

“First, we really wanted the packaging to pop off the shelf,” Schaefer says. “Second, we wanted to create cohesion for the Blue Moon family overall. Blue Moon is all about brightness, and this new packaging really delivers that message while driving a uniform presence at retail.”

The modern look showcases the stylized “Blue Moon” banner that is closely linked to the brand and its flagship, Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-style wheat ale. Each beer’s flavor credentials – such as Valencia orange peel, tangerine peel and mango – are highlighted on the packaging, underscoring another important brand attribute.

Blue Moon continues to show steady performance in the on-premise, as well. After unveiling a new tap handle design in 2023 – the most-ordered tap handle in Molson Coors history – the brand grew revenue by more than 6% in the channel last year, according to Nielsen CGA. But the brand’s new visual identity is just one component of Molson Coors’ plans to kickstart Blue Moon in 2024.

Rebranded Blue Moon Light hitting shelves

The No. 1 light craft beer in the U.S. is also getting a new name, as Blue Moon LightSky has been relaunched as Blue Moon Light.

Schaefer said the name change will help consumers better understand the citrus wheat ale, brewed with real tangerine peel.

“This is a light beer from Blue Moon,” she says. “It has all the flavor you’d expect from the brand, but the decision to rename it to ‘Blue Moon Light’ is a simple adjustment that will drive a much clearer connection to the rest of the Blue Moon portfolio.”

Launched in 2020, Blue Moon Light resonates with consumers looking for a light beer that brings the flavor they expect from a craft beer – and from a Blue Moon brand, in particular. At 95 calories, it’s sold in light blue 12-ounce slim cans that prominently feature that Blue Moon logo.

“The liquid is not changing, but the rebrand means we’re better able to leverage the Blue Moon brand name which we know is the number one driver of trial,” she says.

Blue Moon Non-Alc is a top 3 craft non-alc

Meanwhile, Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic Belgian White has been a hit with consumers since it launched in December. According to Circana, it’s the No. 3 craft non-alcoholic beer in the market for the four weeks ending Feb. 11.

“We’ve already exceeded our distribution targets and we’re starting to see velocity and volume ramp up with consumers,” says Schaefer. “We’ve also gotten a lot of great feedback from consumers on social. The comments have been very, very positive.”

Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic gives the brand a foothold in the rapidly growing non-alc beer segment, which still comprises less than 1% of the total U.S. beer market, but grew volume sales by more than 21% in 2023, according to Circana. The non-alc craft segment is growing even faster, netting an over 87% increase in volume sales last year, per Circana.

A new c-store staple

Along with a new design, Blue Moon is also now available in a new format: both Belgian White and Blue Moon Light are sold in 19.2-ounce cans.

The tall cans are crushing it at c-stores, especially for craft brands that benefit from trial. According to Circana, dollar sales for craft 19.2-ounce cans grew more than 57% in 2023, while volume was up more than 46%.

Just the start

With new packaging, a new name for Blue Moon Light and new pack types in high-growth parts of the market Blue Moon is now turning to its next priority: the launch of a new national media campaign in a few weeks.

The campaign will feature Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon Light and Blue Moon Non-Alcoholic across its suite of assets, and will include TV and streaming advertising, new retail tools, large-scale sampling initiatives, PR and more.

“We're energizing our team and our distributors to go out and ignite love for the Blue Moon family,” Schaefer says. “Our plans give us a great base for growth. Everything is coming together.”