The Steel Reserve Alloy Series plans to go green in the New Year with its latest flavor: Spiked Tropic Storm.
The neon green-colored flavored malt beverage is slated to launch Jan. 1, adding a sixth flavor to the fast-growing Alloy Series lineup.
Filled with fruit flavors en vogue with 21- to 27-year-old millennials, Spiked Tropic Storm was “overwhelmingly well-received” during consumer taste tests, says Josh McDonald, who helped lead the brand during the flavor’s development. “When consumers tried it, for many of them their first questions were “Can I get some more? Where can I get this?”
Spiked Tropic Storm will be joining a brand family that’s on a roll.
Overall, the brand franchise has turned in a blazing 2018 so far, up 13.9 percent in sales dollars and 15.6 percent in volume year-to-date through Nov. 24, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. And it’s accelerating over the most-recent four-week period with sales dollars up 17.5 percent and volume up 20.5 percent.
The top-seller: Hard Pineapple, which remains just in front of red-hot Spiked Blue Razz, a flavor that debuted a year ago that continues to build momentum.
The brand this year has been the most productive brand in the higher-ABV FMB space, outperforming Mike’s Harder, Lime-A-Ritas and Four Loko, per Nielsen convenience store data through August.
“The Steel Reserve Alloy Series is the fastest-turning higher-ABV FMB, and it has the highest conversion rates in the space,” says Liz Cramton, the marketing manager on the brand. “Drinkers keep coming back because of our value proposition: high ABV and bold flavors that consumers love.”
The brand’s success comes despite Anheuser-Busch bringing a challenger, Natty Rush, to market.
In the high-flavor FMB world, flavor innovation is key to keep consumers interested. That’s why MillerCoors is constantly seeking new flavors to add to the mix. On top of that, the more Steel Reserve Alloy Series flavors in the cooler door, the faster they move, per MillerCoors research. When a retailer goes from two to three flavors, velocity jumps 14 percent. Between three and four, it increases 24 percent. And when the number of flavors increases to five from four, velocity jumps 44 percent.
“We’re going to keep building,” Cramton says. “We’re focused on smart innovation, and we’re bringing another flavor to the table that we know identifies with our core consumer.”