Redd’s Wicked Lemonade to launch in July

Sales of Redd’s Wicked 24-ounce single-serve cans are up more than 3 percent year-to-date. Lemonade-flavored malt beverages and beers continue to gain momentum, up nearly 9 percent in sales volume and more than 16 percent in sales velocity since 2015.

Combine those two statistics and Redd’s Wicked thinks it has found the sweet spot. The MillerCoors brand plans to introduce Redd’s Wicked Lemonade, its fourth year-round flavor, in early July.

“The growth of lemonade in the FMB category over the last three years combined with the success of Redd’s Wicked singles gives us confidence that Redd’s Wicked Lemonade will be a hit with our drinkers — something they’re excited to get their hands on,” says Jeff Schulman of the Redd’s Wicked brand team.

With single-serve cans driving the category, the 8 percent alcohol-by-volume flavored malt beverage will be sold in single 24-ounce cans as well as in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Individually packaged higher-ABV flavored malt beverages have gained distribution at convenience stores and other small retail outlets in recent years, proliferating in cooler doors as consumers aged 21-27 increasingly search for a “drink now” option on their way out for an evening, Schulman says. Sales volume of higher-alcohol-by-volume FMBs, for instance, are up 9.2 percent year-to-date through April 21, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience store data. In the convenience store channel, the numbers are even better, up 13.3 percent.

Redd’s Wicked 24-ounce singles are driving sales for the franchise, with top-selling flavor Redd’s Wicked Apple up 17.6 percent in sales dollars on a 16.5 percent jump in volume year-to-date, per Nielsen convenience store data.

Dark golden in color with a distinct lemon and citrus aroma, Redd’s Wicked Lemonade “has a nicely balanced sweet and sour lemon flavor, and it’s refreshing and easy to drink,” Schulman says. He expects the flavor to be incremental to the Wicked franchise.

Redd’s Wicked Lemonade will join three other year-round flavors: No. 1 seller Apple, Black Cherry and Watermelon, which launched in February. A limited release, Redd’s Wicked Strawberry Kiwi, is slated through the end of August.

Redd's Wicked Lemonade's launch will be supported by out-of-home advertising, such as billboards and bus stop displays, as well as a national social media campaign and in-store signs.

Its debut also comes as the brand continues to expand its marketing campaign in partnership with the Grand Theft Auto illustrator Stephen Bliss. It also unveiled redesigned packaging across the brand, a change made to strengthen its visibility on shelves and in cooler doors.

Compared with competitors, such as Mike’s Harder Lemonade, Redd’s Wicked Lemonade “has a different and distinct flavor profile that makes it unique from Mike’s, and we expect it to be just as well-liked,” Schulman says. “We’re confident that we’re offering something new and fresh that will widely appeal to drinkers. There’s room for both brands in the cooler door.”