Made with a mission: Coors Seltzer launches nationwide

Preserving America’s rivers has never been easier. At least that’s the stance of Coors Seltzer, which launched nationally today.

Coors Seltzer is attempting to appeal to a generation of environmentally conscious legal-age drinkers with its mission to help restore America’s waterways. And, it says, consumers can do good by simply cracking open a Coors Seltzer.

“More and more people looking for a refreshing hard seltzer, just as more people are also looking for ways to help the environment,” says Matt Lafferty, marketing manager for Coors Seltzer. “Choosing Coors Seltzer is a way to do a little good while you have fun.”

With every 12-pack sold, Coors Seltzer will work with Change the Course, a program of the national nonprofit Bonneville Environmental Foundation, to restore 500 gallons of water to U.S. rivers. The brand has a goal of restoring at least 1 billion gallons of river water during the first year.

The brand today is kicking off its first marketing campaign across digital platforms, which introduces a world where “volunteering” becomes a code-word for drinking Coors Seltzer.

The tongue-in-cheek ads will begin airing on social media and then appear on digital video and TV programming later this month.


Molson Coors views Coors Seltzer as its strongest play against seltzer offerings from other beer brands and believes it can compete with the top brands in the ultra-competitive seltzer category.

“We see Coors Seltzer as being able to win where people are looking for a trusted beer brand,” says Matt Escalante, senior director for above-premium for Molson Coors.

Coors Seltzer comes in four flavors: Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Mango and Grapefruit. At 90 calories and 4.5% alcohol by volume, it’s a lighter option than most hard seltzers on the market. It’s sold in variety packs of 12-ounce slim cans; Black Cherry also comes in 16-ounce and 24-ounce single cans.

The hard seltzer figures prominently in Molson Coors’ plans to break out beyond its core beer portfolio, including with a suite of seltzer options that diverge from competitors with noticeable differences.

Vizzy Hard Seltzer, for instance, hangs its hat on being made with acerola superfruit, which contains antioxidant vitamin C. Proof Point, slated for a 2021 release, is made with premium ingredients.

And, last week, the company said it will distribute in the U.S. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, further strengthening its presence in the hard seltzer space with a portfolio approach.

Molson Coors views Coors Seltzer as a complement to Vizzy, the No. 5 new item across the entire beer and malt category in 2020 and a Nielsen top-10 growth brand.

“The hard seltzer category is growing so fast, and we think Coors Seltzer is going to be a big part of that category,” says Escalante. “Consumers are going to want different things from different brands. Coors Seltzer speaks to a different consumer than Vizzy and a has a different motivation — a mission to restore America’s rivers.”

Made with a mission

Coors Seltzer’s partnership with Change the Course will focus on 16 river basins across the United States during its first year. According to Change the Course, 80% of America’s largest rivers are experiencing diminished water flow due to forces including drought, reduced snowpack and precipitation, warmer temperatures and increased water use.

“Rivers are the lifeblood of America. They provide clean drinking water, deliver vast economic value to communities and businesses and support critical fish and wildlife habitat and recreation in every state,” says Todd Reeve, CEO of Bonneville Environmental Foundation and co-creator of Change the Course. “Unfortunately, the iconic river basins that fuel our communities, economies and ecosystems are stressed.”

He said the nonprofit is “thrilled to partner with Coors Seltzer to build awareness of America's incredible rivers and ensure that high-impact projects across the country keep our rivers clean and healthy.”

While Coors Selter’s ads offer a playful look at conservation, Molson Coors has made sustainability an integral part of its business, with water conversation a key focus. The beverage maker’s 2025 sustainability goals include reducing water use by 22%, and it works with its communities to protect local waterways. A leader in sustainability – going as far back as the 1950s, when Coors pioneered the recyclable aluminum can – the company said in its “Our Imprint 2020 Report” this summer that its packaging is now 99% reusable or recyclable.

“Coors Seltzer was directly inspired by the research that found consumers prefer brands that take a stand on issues,” Lafferty says. Eighty percent of consumers believe businesses must take a role in addressing societal issues, according a 2016 Edelman study. And more than 90% said they would choose a brand that supports a good cause, a 2013 global study found.

Given the breadth of river-restoration projects nationwide, the brand will be able to target its restoration efforts to local markets, as well.

“Our rivers affect all of us, no matter if you live on the coasts or the Great Plains,” Escalante says. “Consumers can make an impact simply by choosing Coors Seltzer.”