Blue Moon doubles down on wheat with new share packs

Blue Moon Brewing Company this week debuted a new share pack nationwide, embracing an approach that aims to appeal to the brand’s core drinkers.

For the first time, the Blue Moon 12-packs include six of the brand’s flagship Belgian White beers, up from four in previous packs. They’re accompanied by three bottles each of two relatively new beers: Blue Moon Mango Wheat and Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat.

The new packs have arrived in many retailers across the country, where they’re scheduled to remain until March 2018.

“We’re staying close to our core, close in to what people know and love about Blue Moon,” says Chris Steele, Blue Moon's senior brand manager. “We’ve got the No. 1 wheat beer in America, and this will give our drinkers who already love Blue Moon a pack to bring to a party that includes familiar, complementary flavors."

Blue Moon, the country's largest craft brand, has been a bright spot for MillerCoors, accelerating even as the total craft segment has struggled, according to Nielsen cross-channel data. Blue Moon Belgian White case volume is up 8.8 percent year-to-date through Aug. 26, the data show. The brand hopes to continue that success by doubling down on making the wheat beers its customers have grown to expect.

“Instead of branching out into all of these crazy avenues, we want to stay better focused on what got us here,” Steele says of the decision to sharpen the focus on wheat-based beers. (He notes that Blue Moon brewers in Denver will continue to experiment.) “We have a distinct style of beer we’re known for and proud of, and we plan to stand by our flagship and watch it grow.”

The brand’s Mango Wheat emerged from the Blue Moon brewery in the RiNo district in Denver and became the No. 2-selling beer in its brewpubs without any marketing support. It will join a new variant, Pacific Apricot Wheat, which also has performed “incredibly well” in Denver, Steele says.

Both flavors also will be sold in standalone six-packs this fall, with Mango Wheat’s debut last week and Pacific Apricot Ale set to hit retailers’ shelves by November 1.