Molson Coors shelf gains outpacing estimates

When it comes to spring shelf resets, the good news Molson Coors received in February keeps getting better. 

Molson Coors is emerging as beer’s No. 1 space gainer at retail, according to internal estimates. 

Initial reads shared weeks ago had Molson Coors’ three biggest brands – Coors Light, Miller Lite and Coors Banquet – gaining a strong 10% of shelf space. But with reports from 70% of accounts in, Molson Coors now expects a 13% increase in shelf space for both Coors Light and Miller Lite, along with positive gains for Simply Spiked and Blue Moon.   

As for Coors Banquet, its expected gains are a staggering 20%.   

Andrew McGuire, chief customer officer for Molson Coors, says that distribution increases are nothing but good news.   

“It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” says McGuire. “It makes our brands more visible, gives retailers more inventory to meet demand and positions us for future growth.”  

The gains come at a time when Molson Coors is sustaining the growth it experienced in 2023, with all three core brands seeing dollar and volume share increases for the 13-week period that ended March 31 versus last year, according to Circana. 

McGuire says one key to the company’s success has been its sales team’s ability to explain to retailers the story shoppers have been telling with their wallets. 

“We’ve continued to see drinkers choosing our brands, and smart retailers know they need to adjust their space for our core products, especially Coors Light, Miller Lite and Coors Banquet,” he says. 

McGuire says that most of the space gains weren’t surprising. “Based on what the retailers were seeing, the space gains were natural to me,” says McGuire. “What was surprising were the placement gains. Essentially, we are seeing 5% growth in placements for Miller Lite and Coors Light. That adds up pretty quickly." 

Once again, Coors Banquet’s growth stands out. Molson Coors now expects Coors Banquet to pick up around 24% in off-premise placements. 

Molson Coors’ spring and summer plans for Miller Lite and Coors Light have been well-documented, between the return of Miller Lite’s "Great Taste, Less Filling" campaign and Coors Light’s new Choose Chill platform. But Coors Banquet has launched its own campaign to keep up its impressive momentum. 

Coors Banquet continues its legacy 

Coors Banquet ended 2023 as the fastest-growing beer brand among the top-15 highest-grossing brands, per Circana. And it’s continued to roll in the on-premise, gaining share with volume sales up nearly 30% for the four weeks that ended Jan. 28, according to Nielsen. 

Alyssa Bush, senior marketing manager for Coors Banquet, says the brand’s growth stems from its long-term commitment to tradition and quality, which has allowed the brand to have enduring popularity and relevance in pop culture. Bush also points to Coors Baquet’s fruitful partnerships with other brands, from TV’s “Yellowstone” to hot apparel companies like Brixton. 

“We've been really strategic about our partnerships,” says Bush. “We're the official beer partner of ‘Yellowstone’ season 5. And we’ve had a 30-year partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. This allows the beer to be in places where our core loyal drinkers are, but also show up in places where we can introduce new people to the Coors Banquet brand.”  

While fans of the hit TV show “Yellowstone” will have to wait until November to see its final episodes, Coors Banquet isn’t waiting to tap into their thirst for all things Dutton. The brand has developed elaborate display tools showcasing the partnership, which adds to Coors Banquet’s cowboy cool allure

Along with retail tools, localized assets and online videos, the brand is also offering limited edition Coors Banquet 12-ounce cans with designs inspired by the brand’s look in the 1880s, 1940s and 1990s. The cans will be available through June or until supplies run out. It’s also got a new merch collab with the West Coast-based clothing brand, Brixton. 

Bush believes this campaign, plus Coors Banquet’s continued focus on heritage, are keys to continued success.  

“It's hard to ignore the momentum we're seeing in the on- and off-premise with such tremendous growth year over year,” says Bush. “People have been drinking Banquet for 150 years, and I believe they'll be drinking them for at least another 150 more.”