Early read on Blue Moon Mango Wheat? Sizzling

Blue Moon Mango Wheat is off to a blazing start this fall, and its sales numbers are only getting better.

Sales of the wheat beer, which emerged from the Blue Moon brewery in Denver's RiNo district and became the No. 2-selling beer in its brewpubs, shot up 71.2 percent on a 70.2 percent bump in volume in the most-recent four weeks, according to Nielsen all-outlet data through Nov. 25. That's compared with sales for the beer it replaced, Blue Moon White IPA.

The November surge came after Mango Wheat was up 54.9 percent in sales dollars on a 52.2 percent jump in case volume in the four weeks ending Nov. 4, per Nielsen.

"This is a great early read for sure," says Chris Steele, Blue Moon’s senior brand manager. "We don't believe this is a one-off success for us. We plan to continue to use the RiNo brewpub as an incubator for success and as a way to test new beers with consumers."

The wheat beer brewed with mango puree and a hint of honey was released in September in stand-alone six-packs. In both October and November, Blue Moon Mango Wheat booked more than double the volume of White IPA in any other month of 2017, Steele says.

Mango Wheat, which was developed by Blue Moon founder Keith Villa in mid-2016, debuted nationally in bottles as part of new Blue Moon share packs, which include six of the brand’s flagship Belgian White beers and three bottles each of Blue Moon Mango Wheat and Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat.

Blue Moon, the country’s largest craft brand, has performed well in 2017, growing even as the total craft segment has struggled, according to Nielsen. Blue Moon Belgian White sales are up 9 percent and volume is up 7.1 percent year-to-date through Nov. 25, per Nielsen all-outlet data.

Buoyed by its initial success, Blue Moon plans to release Mango Wheat on draft on March 31 to coincide with the astronomical blue moon. (A blue moon is the second full moon to appear in the same month.)

Like the stand-alone six-packs, the draft version of the beer is planned as a year-round offering.

"We've always wanted to bring all the success we've seen at the Blue Moon brewpubs to everyone's bar," Steele says of Mango Wheat. "This is an opportunity for us to add a second tap handle."