After strong start, Redd's Wicked Sour Apple going year-round

After a strong debut last fall, Redd’s Wicked Sour Apple is ditching its ‘Limited Pick’ label and will become a year-round offering.

The flavored malt beverage, which balances sweet and sour flavors, shot out of the gates, selling at a clip nearly four times as fast as the brand’s previous Limited Pick, Strawberry Kiwi.

“It’s done very, very well without a lot of support, so why on earth would we take it out?” says Chris Steele, a senior marketing manager who oversees the Redd’s franchise for MillerCoors. “After we saw Sour Apple’s organic growth and great repurchase rates, we decided to stick with it.”

So instead of cycling out in March as initially planned, Sour Apple will join the brand’s four other year-round flavors: Apple, Black Cherry, Watermelon and Lemonade.

Redd’s Wicked Sour Apple launched in February, aimed at 21- to 27-year-old consumers seeking bold flavors, a hot spot in the alcohol beverage space.

Sales of beers, ciders and flavored malt beverages that contain the word “sour” in their descriptions more than quadrupled between 2015 and 2017 to $44.3 million, according to a MillerCoors analysis of Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through 2017.

Despite Sour Apple’s success, sales of Redd’s Wicked and sister brand Redd’s Apple Ale slipped in 2018, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data.

But Steele sees brighter days ahead. Both brands in December moved under the creative agency Energy BBDO, which is developing a campaign in attempt to restore the brand to a leadership position in the FMB category.

The decision to stick with a flavor that’s working like Redd’s Wicked Sour Apple is an example of how the brand is willing to rethink its approach to be more nimble in the marketplace, Steele says.

“When we see something working, we’re willing to change the construct of the segment,” Steele says. “And there’s more cool stuff to come this year with our partnership with Energy BBDO, and we can’t wait to share more in the coming months.”

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