MillerCoors to test Arnie’s Spiked Lemonade and Arnie’s Spiked Iced Tea

Buoyed by the first-year success of its hard half iced tea-half lemonade, Arnold Palmer Spiked plans to test two new spiked beverages.

The brand will release Arnie’s Spiked Iced Tea and Arnie’s Spiked Lemonade in four test markets this summer, MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques said today at a beer conference in Chicago.

Arnie’s Spiked essentially decouples the original Arnold Palmer Spiked, the drink named after the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer that launched last year, into two flavors.

The spinoffs come as the brand continues to gain momentum. After finishing 2018 ranking as the top flavored malt beverage released for the year, and the No. 3 new brand in all of beer and cider, it has picked up 0.5 percentage points of share so far this year in its segment and now represents a 0.9 share in flavored malt beverages, per Nielsen.

“It did really well for us, and about 50% of the volume was sourced directly from spirits, bringing new people back into our category. So we asked ourselves ‘what else can we do?’” St. Jacques said at the event sponsored by Beer Marketer’s Insights. With the line extensions, MillerCoors is “continuing to build on the momentum we had in year one and build into new spaces. This is just one example of identifying those next opportunities and moving with speed.”

Made in partnership with Hornell Brewing, a unit of iced-tea maker AriZona Beverages, the new drinks aim to bring incremental drinkers to both the hard tea and hard lemonade spaces and afford the brand additional opportunities for greater in-store presence and promotional support at retail.

Like the original flavor, the extensions check in at 5% alcohol by volume.

The introductions are part of a “test-and-learn mindset” that MillerCoors has embraced under St. Jacques.

The company has launched similar tests for Saint Archer Gold, a new craft light lager that rolled into four markets earlier this year, and Movo, a line of canned sparkling wine spritzers MillerCoors is auditioning in four separate markets.  St. Jacques said to expect more innovation in the months ahead as MillerCoors moves faster and takes bigger risks as it seeks to get its business back on track.

“We’ve been talking about the need to be fast, messy and awesome. It’s all about moving with speed over perfection. Taking smart risks. Connecting with consumers. Trying new things in marketplace. And throwing gasoline on what is working, and stopping the things that aren’t working,” she said.  “We need to be sprinting, and that’s the way we’re going to continue to win.”