Drinkers across the United States will soon be able to find Leinenkugel’s Juicy Peach in their markets, following the beer’s solid debut in the Great Lakes region this year, where it’s the region’s top new craft offering, according to IRI.
The expansion is part of a portfolio rebalancing aimed at simplifying Leinenkugel’s’ offerings, while keeping its most popular beer, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, on shelves longer.
“We’ve heard from distributors, retailers and customers. Simplifying our portfolio means we'll be able to execute better with our most productive beer,” says Matt Ferebee, senior marketing manager for Leinenkugel’s. “By extending our most productive beers' time in market, we’re giving our drinkers more opportunities to buy and re-buy the brands they love.”
Key portfolio changes include Summer Shandy being sold longer in some markets (January through September), one less secondary seasonal beer, and one less primary seasonal beer outside of the Great Lakes (where fan-favorite Oktoberfest will still be available.) Additionally, Juicy Peach will replace Lemon Haze IPA as a year-round offering along with the year-round Lodge Pack variety pack.
“In the end, it’s making it less complex to keep shelves stocked. We’re giving consumers the brands they love, and we think we’re going to sell more beer,” says Ferebee.
Leinenkugel’s Juicy Peach, the 4.4% alcohol-by-volume ale that balances a hint of sweetness from natural peach juice with subtle tart notes, will be sold in every region.
Despite being sold in just a handful of states this year, Juicy Peach ranked as the nation’s No. 4 new craft beer in 2022, according to IRI. For its expansion, the brand will add new packaging formats next year, debuting six-packs of 12-ounce bottles and 16-ounce singles.
The announcement of the expansion at Molson Coors Distributors Convention in Nashville last month caused a stir in the crowd. “Distributors have heard about Juicy Peach’s success. They know it will do well in their markets,” Ferebee says.
Introducing Honey Lemon Light
The new kid on the block in 2023 is Honey Lemon Light, a 4% ABV, 99-calorie lager made with locally sourced honey and real lemon juice. It will be sold nationwide for the first three quarters of the year, replacing Sunshine Light Lager in the lineup.
“It's flavor-forward, which is what consumers expect from a Leinenkugel's beer,” Ferebee says. Honey Lemon Light is Leinenkugel’s answer to increasing consumer demand for lighter, low-calorie beers that still deliver on flavor, he says.
Lodge Pack continues to grow
Leinenkugel’s Lodge Pack variety pack continues to perform impressively. Launched earlier this year, it’s continued to outperform the former Brewology variety pack by nearly 30%, according to IRI.
Ferebee says the Lodge Pack has found success by offering a mix of fans’ favorite Leinie’s beers – including Grapefruit Shandy over the summer and Snowdrift Vanilla Porter this winter – combined with innovations like Honey Lemon Light.
“We love that we’re able to bring back some of these old favorites in the Lodge Pack,” Ferebee says. “Again, we’re trying to make it simple to sell more beer.”