Fruit-forward Keylightful primed for a March debut

Keylightful, Keystone Light’s cheeky, fruit-forward raspberry lime light beer aimed at recruiting more younger legal-age drinkers into the beer category, will launch March 1 in 40 states.

The new beer, which is set to debut in 12-packs and 30-packs of 12-ounce cans, is intended to go head-to-head with Natural Light’s Naturdays, a fruit-flavored light beer launched in 2019 that shot up Nielsen’s Top 10 Growth Brands list and remained there for much of the year.

Designed to “deliver flavor, sessionability and affordability,” Keylightful aims to give drinkers “another way into the beer category, through familiar flavors and a brand they know and trust,” says Josh Wexelbaum, director of economy brands at Molson Coors. 

Tapping Keystone Light to carry the banner was a natural choice, given that many beer drinkers enter the category through the economy segment, Wexelbaum says.  

Because reception from beer retailers and wholesalers “has been pretty phenomenal,” the brand opted to push into more markets than originally planned and coordinated its launch with spring break season.

“Keylightful is fruit-forward and hits the palate with a burst of raspberry and lime flavors, but it’s refreshing because it finishes clean like a light beer,” Wexelbaum says. “It’s perfect for daytime social occasions like beach and pool outings, tailgates and other outdoor celebrations, and can serve as an entrée into the beer category for a group of legal-age drinkers who haven’t flocked to beer in the same numbers as the generations before them.”

The 4.1% alcohol-by-volume beer with 125 calories per 12-ounce serving will be packaged in splashy pink-and-neon-green packs, both to cue its prominent flavors of raspberry and lime and to convey its “bright, optimistic” positioning, Wexelbaum says.

They’ll also prominently feature the brand’s mascot, Lil’ Breezy Keezy, a sunglasses-clad French bulldog who will play a starring role in the brand’s marketing campaign.

Lil’ Breezy Keezy, who was inspired by Lou, the French bulldog owned by Keylightful’s lead creative partner at the brand design agency Soulsight, “embodies the spirit of Keylightful, all the way from his sartorial choices of sunglasses and a tropical party shirt to his laissez faire affect,” Wexelbaum says.

The dog will be featured in all of the brand’s creative work, ranging from video spots and social media to retail point-of-sale advertising.

Keylightful is part of a broader Molson Coors effort to bring more younger legal-age drinkers into the beer category.