Cape Line, a new line of sparkling cocktails, unveils first three flavors

Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails, a new line from MillerCoors, plans to launch in spring 2019 with three flavors: Blackberry Mojito, Margarita and Hard Strawberry Lemonade.

The 120-calorie drinks aim to appeal to consumers who seek bold flavors without the calories of leading flavored malt beverages.

Made with fermented cane sugar and containing six ingredients, Cape Line has no artificial flavors and is gluten-free.

The sparkling cocktails will be packaged in 12-ounce slim cans featuring an overlaid image of a glass filled with the sparkling cocktails inside to showcase their colors. They’ll also be stamped with a nutrition fact panel, listing “its six simple ingredients that consumers know and understand,” says Sofia Colucci, vice president of innovations for MillerCoors. “This is what differentiates us. Today, consumers want it all. They want simple ingredients, lower calories and sugar with all of the flavor.”

Cape Line’s drinks are slightly sweet and effervescent and check in at 4.5 percent alcohol-by-volume. “When moving into a space that appeals to consumers seeking a healthier lifestyle, it’s important that consumers know the drink is going to taste great,” Colucci says. Its three flavors are “classic and widely appealing. When consumers try them, they love them.”

MillerCoors is positioning the brand to appeal to 21- to 45-year old men and women “who are looking to make better choices but unwilling to sacrifice on taste,” Colucci says.

Cape Line will be backed by a robust marketing and public relations campaign that will include television, digital, social and print media, as well as out-of-home advertising supplemented with sampling events and other experiences. Energy BBDO has been tapped to handle creative duties for the brand, which will launch in all three flavors on April 1.

The brand is among a slate of above-premium offerings that MillerCoors is building as it heads into 2019. Following strong launches in 2018, the company next year plans to increase investment in Sol, Crispin Rosé and Arnold Palmer Spiked. It also will put more behind Blue Moon and the Italian import Peroni, and continue building its Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water line.

On top of that, it is launching a craft light lager in four test markets from its San Diego craft partner called Saint Archer Gold.

Cape Line will come to market amid a boom of lower-calorie, high-flavor drinks:

  • Corona is testing a line of 4.5 percent ABV “spiked refreshers” called Corona Refresca with the intent to take the brand nationally.
  • Anheuser-Busch plans to release a line of 4 percent ABV, lower-calorie drinks called Spiked Aguas Fresca under its Golden Road craft label.
  • Ben Weiss, the developer of the non-alcohol beverage Bai, is bringing to market a new brand called Crook & Marker, which has 80 calories per 11.5-ounce can, compared to 12-ounce servings for other brands.
  • Boston Beer Co. is set to unveil a new line of 130-calorie hard teas called Wild Leaf.
  • Diageo-owned Smirnoff is testing a 4.5 percent ABV cooler made with real fruit juice called Smirnoff Sourced.

Cape Line, Colucci says, sets itself apart with its simple, natural ingredients, natural flavors and low calories. “Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails is the only proposition coming into this space that is truly giving consumers everything they want – delicious and natural taste, simple ingredients and lower calories.”