Miller Lite’s limited-edition J Balvin pints go national

Miller Lite’s pints are getting a dramatic makeover this spring as part of the brand’s biggest push ever to court Latino drinkers.

In partnership with global music superstar J Balvin, Miller Lite is trading in its iconic navy blue stylized “Lite” logo in favor of flashy colors and J Balvin’s signature lightning bolt on its aluminum pints nationwide starting this month.

The aluminum pints, which will be packaged in 9- and 15-packs, will be in market through April, supporting the brand’s “Es Jose Time” campaign.

“Miller Time and ‘Es Jose Time’ are all about bringing your true authentic self. Adding J Balvin’s flair to our packaging really brings the partnership with Miller Lite to life in a way only J Balvin could do,” says Sofia Colucci, Miller Lite’s vice president of marketing.

The ‘Es Jose Time’ campaign features the candid, off-stage persona of J Balvin, whose given name is Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin.

As Miller Lite seeks to make inroads with Latino drinkers, the partnership with J Balvin takes on added importance.

“J Balvin is one of the most iconic Latinos in the world. To have him showcase Miller Lite in his daily life is really powerful. It shows Miller Lite is part of culture,” Sarah Irizarry, marketing manager for Miller Lite, adding that the brand is sponsoring J Balvin’s upcoming North American tour, kicking off in April.

To that end, Miller Lite is giving legal-age consumers a chance to win a virtual meet-and-greet with the artist, as well as a year’s worth of Miller Lite. Consumers can visit (or for Spanish speakers) or scan QR codes printed on retail displays for a chance to win.

The Latino market has long been undertapped in mainstream beer marketing, even though Latinos comprise some 20% of the U.S. population. And with that figure poised to double by 2060, brands are recognizing the immense opportunity to reach this growing group of drinkers.

While Latinos have helped fuel the growth of Mexican imports, they also overindex in premium lights, which account for nearly a quarter of the beer volume Latinos purchase, according to Nielsen data. These drinkers also purchase a higher percentage of pints, according to IRI data.

The purchasing power of Latino drinkers can’t be ignored, either. As a whole, Latino beer drinkers spend more of their alcohol beverage dollars on beer than other ethnic groups, at 43.4%, according to Nielsen. What’s more, they spent $21.8 billion on alcohol beverages in 2017, up 26% from 2012, market research firm Mintel found.

And while J Balvin is an obvious choice to better reach Latino drinkers, he has great crossover appeal, Irizarry says.

“The reality is, ‘Es Jose Time’ has an opportunity to meet all consumers. It’s a great chance for us to take a bold break from our traditional look to really drive the impact at retail,” she says. “You can’t help but stop and look at these cans. They’re amazing, they’re beautiful, and they’re going to move.”