With new packaging and new consumers, Coors Banquet bounces back in 2020

Coors Banquet is riding a hot hand in 2020, fueled by sales velocity gains in off-premise retailers.

Overall case volume is up 7.5% year-to-date, according to the most recent all-outlet and convenience store data compiled by Nielsen. It’s the clear growth leader in the premium regular segment, with no other brand growing more than 3.7%, allowing it to pick up 0.3 points of segment share so far in 2020.

Driven by sales of its large packs – 18-, 24-, and 30-packs – Coors Banquet is increasingly finding an audience in younger legal-age drinkers, says Kristina Hannant, brand manager for Coors Banquet.

“A lot of the new buyers are under the age of 35,” driving 12% more sales than Banquet’s core audience of drinkers over 45, she says. “The brand has tried to target younger legal-age consumers by educating them in a unique way.”

Banquet is also making headway with Latino drinkers, she says, with sales velocity of large packs outpacing competitor Modelo Especial, particularly in chain retailers. For instance, large packs up Banquet are up 25% in Walmart and 17% at Albertson’s locations for the last 13 weeks, compared to Modelo’s 7.3% and 9% growth, Nielsen data show.

“Banquet has shown it can be a Modelo fighter,” Hannant says.

It has also created excitement around a new packaging series focusing on the 147-year-old brand’s historic legacy. The brand introduced new 12- and 24-ounce cans in April that showcase packaging from the 1930s, 1960s and 1980s. The heritage packaging, which includes a map of its original distribution footprint on the inside of cases, is a nod to the various ways people who thirsted for Banquet resorted to getting their hands on it before it was widely distributed.

“When Coors Banquet was first brewed, it was only available in Colorado. So these cans really tell the story of being stolen, smuggled and sought after over its long history,” says Hannant. “Coors Banquet is a brand that stands for something. It’s only ever been brewed in Golden, and always will be.”

The cool, retro look has also attracted consumers when it’s displayed next to Coors Light, Hannant says. When the two are paired together, dollars sales of Coors Light increase by double digits, data show.

“We’re seeing double-digit growth in a lot of our bigger chains,” she says. “People are looking for brands that have stood the test of time— brands that are comforting to them.”

With nearly 150 years behind it, Banquet fits the bill.