Cape Line makes debut on Top 10 Growth Brands list

Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails made its debut in the Nielsen Top 10 Growth Brands list this week, another sign the new brand is off to a strong start and gathering momentum heading into summer.

Cape Line barreled into the No. 9 spot on the list, which covers sales at retail outlets through June 8.

It also ranks as the top new entrant released so far in 2019 in Nielsen’s flavored malt beverage segment as measured by case and dollar sales, despite not hitting the market in a meaningful way until early April, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data.

“We’re super happy about our results thus far, and this is another big win,” says Sofia Colucci, vice president of innovations for MillerCoors. “What’s more, relative to our competitors in the better-for-you space, we’re performing even better.”

The 120-calorie sparkling cocktails, which aim to appeal to consumers who seek bold flavors with fewer calories than leading flavored malt beverages, are made with six ingredients, none of which are artificial. Cape Line is available in three flavors: Blackberry Mojito, Margarita and Hard Strawberry Lemonade. Each is slightly sweet and effervescent and checks in at 4.5% alcohol by volume.

While the brand appeals to both men and women, Cape Line is targeting a group it calls its “tribe” — 25- to 35-year-old women.

Backed by a robust marketing campaign that includes TV spots featuring the song “Juice” by Lizzo, Cape Line has amassed nearly 300 million earned media impressions so far this year, including mentions in publications such as PopSugar and Elite Daily, which have each called the sparkling cocktails a variation of the drinks of the summer.

The brand also is getting “a ton of chain support throughout the country,” and exceeding sales and rate-of-sale targets at one of the top grocery chains in the U.S., Colucci says.

As for new flavors, Colucci says, “What we think is there’s a flavor for everyone right now, but we’re constantly listening to consumer feedback to get a sense of what else will work.”