Molson Coors Beverage Company is set to blanket Canada with some 50 million cans of Vizzy and Coors Seltzer in the months ahead as it embraces hard seltzers as a core pillar of its Canadian portfolio.
“We’re going big,” says Leslie Malcolm, brand director for seltzer and flavor. “While this marks the official launch of our seltzer portfolio in Canada, more importantly it marks Molson Coors’ transformation into a beverage business.”
The expansion of both brands north of the border comes as the company continues an onslaught of investments in its portfolio of hard seltzers, a segment that remains on fire.
Vizzy will launch in Canada with a four-flavor variety pack that includes Pineapple Mango, Black Cherry Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate and Strawberry Kiwi. Each 355-milliliter serving contains 100 calories, 5% alcohol by volume and superfruit acerola cherry.
It will be available in six-packs and variety 12-packs, 473-mililiter singles, as well as a variety 24-pack.
Coors Seltzer, meanwhile, will debut in four flavors: Black Cherry, Mango, Lemon Lime, and Grapefruit. At 90 calories and 4.5% alcohol by volume per 355 milliliters, it’s a lighter option than most hard seltzers on the market. It will be sold in six-packs and variety 12-packs, as well as in an exclusive 24 pack for The Beer Store.
“Similar to the US, when we looked at the seltzer category, it was a sea of sameness – white cans, low calories and carbs & light on taste,” says Sophia Lal, senior manager of innovation for Molson Coors. “Vizzy and Coors Seltzer are different. They deliver on taste, and they deliver on expectations.”
Both hard seltzer brands debuted in the U.S. last year.
Vizzy, which launched in the U.S. in April, was one of the top beer innovations of 2020, maintaining momentum throughout the year and into 2021. It aims to continue its growth this spring with the release of its second variety pack and a lemonade extension.
Coors Seltzer hit shelves in the U.S. in late August and sold 500,000 cases in its first month.
Both brands are part of Molson Coors’ broad ambitions to grow its hard seltzer portfolio around the globe, including grabbing a 10 share in the U.S by the end of 2021. In addition to the launch in Canada and separate plays in the U.K. and Europe, Molson Coors plans imminent launches in the U.S. of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which Molson Coors is producing and distributing in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Proof Point, a spirits-based hard seltzer made with premium ingredients.
Vizzy and Coors Seltzer are stepping into a Canadian hard seltzer market as early entrants. American market share leader White Claw launched last year to compete with brands like Nutrl, Nude and the soon-to-launch Bud Light Seltzer. The segment is experiencing exponential growth and is expected to reach more than $2 billion sales this year.
Both Molson Coors brands aim to stand out in a crowded field. Vizzy, with its vivid orange packaging, is made with superfruit acerola cherry. Coors Seltzer, meanwhile, has a mission to protect Canadian waters. Partnering with Change the Course, the brand plans to restore 2 billion liters of water in its first 12 months in market across at least four significant projects in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
Both Vizzy and Coors Seltzer will be available in a vodka and/or clean malt base for national distribution. The vodka-based seltzers will be sold in Atlantic and West provinces, with the Vizzy version sold at the LCBO in Ontario, as well. The malt-based version will be sold on premise, at Ontario Beer Stores and in Quebec.
Molson Coors, Malcolm says, has made hard seltzer the top priority of its Canadian business.
“This is really about stepping in with purpose versus dipping our toes in. We know how fast everything is moving. We know if we want to be a serious player, we have to be ready to accelerate. And we are,” she says. “We’re serious about hard seltzer, and it will remain the No. 1 priority in 2022 and beyond.”