Hoping to grow volume for the sixth consecutive year, Steel Reserve Alloy Series is set to release its seventh flavor: Spiked Strawberry Burst.
The pink-colored flavored malt beverage, which has a bold strawberry flavor and a lingering sweet finish, is slated to hit shelves the first week of November.
Packed with the sweet, fruit-forward flavors favored by younger legal-age drinkers, Spiked Strawberry Burst “really hit it out of the park” in consumer testing and “will fit perfectly within the Alloy franchise,” says Alex Pascutoi, associate marketing manager for Steel Reserve Alloy Series.
“There’s a huge group of millennial consumers who are looking for bold flavors, and that’s where we’ve positioned Steel Reserve Alloy Series,” Pascutoi says.
The 8% alcohol-by-volume brand, which is known for its subversive branding, colorful appearance and fruity flavors, is up high single digits this year and has grown volume every year since its 2014 release, fueled by the release of new flavors.
Overall, the brand franchise is up 7.8% in volume and 8.3% in sales dollars year-to-date through Sept. 21, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. Pascutoi says the brand is performing even better in independent convenience stores, many of which Nielsen data does not capture.
Steel Reserve Alloy Series also is among the most productive/highest-turning brands in the higher-ABV FMB space, outperforming Four Loko, and Anheuser-Busch’s Ritas franchise and Natty Rush, per Nielsen data.
Its top-selling flavors remain Spiked Pineapple and Spiked Blue Razz. Spiked Tropic Storm, which made its debut in January, is off to a strong start, Pascutoi says.
Because of its growth across the portfolio, the brand opted to keep all seven flavors available upon Spiked Strawberry Burst’s release. Pascutoi notes that some flavors sell better regionally, and the brand’s overall performance is best when more flavors are in the cooler door. When a retailer moves to five from four flavors, for instance, velocity increases 54%, per MillerCoors data. And when the number of flavors rises to six from five, velocity shoots up 72%.
“Our flavors are what carry us,” Pascutoi says. “And once we get a new flavor out to our consumers, they buy it and they come back.”