Blue Moon comes to Canada—What does this mean for competitors?

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After a particularly long day at the office, do you enjoy kicking back with a craft beer or two? If so, then good news: Molson Coors is giving you another brand to choose from—Blue Moon. The wheat beer officially hit shelves on August 15th, but you can also purchase the adult beverage at bars and restaurants under the name Belgian Moon.

But as we continue to learn more about this beer, the company behind it and the marketing techniques that have been employed, one question continues to come to mind: now that there’s a new choice in town, will competitors see a drop in sales?

RELATED TOPIC: Learn how Molson Coors is expanding beers in Canada—Should other breweries follow suit?

Interestingly enough, the brand (which originally launched in the mid 90s) has already come under criticism and may have a certain challenge to overcome before a profit can even be turned. And though the critique comes from the U.S. market, news can travel quite quickly to Canada.

Specifically, the brand has not made its link to MillerCoors LLC known on its packaging. Some believe that this is an attempt for a big brewer trying to pass off its products as a smaller-scale craft beer. Other brands, including Shock Top, have faced similar scrutiny.

The Brewers Association in the United States defines craft beer as having an “annual production of six million barrels or less, produced by a brewery that is less than one-quarter owned or controlled by another company in the alcoholic beverage industry that is not a craft brewer.” Industry groups in Canada pretty much have the same guidelines, too.

Overall, the consumption of beer is declining—kind of surprising, right? Craft breweries may not be dominating the market, but Molson Coors and Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. are still known for receiving a large amount of sales. But wine is now the new alcoholic beverage of choice, and breweries are attempting to keep up with new and changing appetites.

“Introducing this iconic brand to Canada is a significant milestone for both Molson Coors and our drinkers, whose tastebuds continue to evolve,” Six Pints General Manager Will Meijer commented.

Molson announced that this brand is the best-selling wheat beer in the United States, but will the same results be seen in Canada. It looks like time will tell.

However, consider Coke and Pepsi—two similar brands, and while one company may be earning more profits than the other, it’s been proven that there is a place in the market for both types of soda. So why can’t there be more than one type of beer?

One thing is for certain: people like to have choices, lots of choices! Therefore, while the beer option remains to be fresh and new, it will most likely sell quite well for a while. After time, it may even prove to hold its own against competitors. However, don’t look for Blue Moon or Belgian Moon to knock any other flavors or beer options off the shelves—not yet , anyway.

The new choice for craft beer will ultimately be just another adult beverage alternative—nothing more, nothing less.

RELATED TOPIC: Happy hour office etiquette for the modern businessman    

For the latest news in the food and drink industry, visit our sister brand Food, Drink & Franchise

[SOURCE: The Globe and Mail]

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