In its quest to grow volume for the seventh consecutive year, Steel Reserve Alloy Series is set to release its eighth flavor. But it’s not telling drinkers quite yet just what it is.
This week the flavored malt beverage brand known for its subversive branding, colorful appearance and fruity flavors launched a mystery flavor called Spiked Mystery, and it’s asking its fans to try to guess the flavor for a chance to win $10,000.
Wrapped in black-and-white cans emblazoned with a giant orange question mark, Spiked Mystery pours a frosty white color, an attempt to shield its flavor identity.
“We loved the idea of doing a mystery flavor because we’ve seen it done successfully by other brands, but not yet in the alcohol space,” says Sarah Walsh, the brand’s marketing manager for Molson Coors Beverage Co. “Steel Reserve Alloy Series felt like the perfect fit to launch its first Mystery Flavor because the brand is fun, it's bold, and it ties perfectly into its tagline, ‘Curious is calling.’”
Brands such as Oreo, Pringles and Mountain Dew have launched mystery flavors in recent years, which has helped create buzz, drive engagement among consumers and tap into consumers’ fear of missing out, Food Business News reported.
Steel Reserve Alloy Series Spiked Mystery flavor cans will be available for about two months until a winner is revealed. A QR code on the can takes drinkers to a website where they can register, confirm they’re age 21+ and submit their guesses. If they guess correctly, they’ll be entered to win the $10,000 grand prize. All who participate are entered to win a separate $500 prize. Submissions are open until Oct. 31.
From there, the brand plans to notify the winner, and in mid-November plans a big reveal, in which it will roll out the new flavor as part of its permanent flavor lineup, complete with new cans and its trademark brightly colored liquid.
Steel Reserve Alloy Series has grown volume every year since its 2014 release, fueled by the release of new flavors.
And it’s on its way to another year of growth, despite the global pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the alcohol beverage industry. While volume in tracked channels is up 0.4 percent year-to-date, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data, the brand has an outsized presence in independent outlets, many of which are not included in Nielsen data.
Steel Reserve Alloy Series remains the fastest-moving flavored malt beverage in convenience stores, as compared with its major competitors, which include Smirnoff Ice, Four Loko, Clubtails and Mike’s Harder, per Nielsen convenience store data for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 22.
“We continue to be very optimistic about this brand, which is built on bold flavors and innovation,” Walsh says. “Our target consumers love the idea of our Spiked Mystery flavor, and we think it’s going to take off because it’s a unique way to stand out in a crowded flavor space.”