Molson Coors taking Movo wine spritzers national in 2020

MillerCoors today said it will expand its line of Movo wine spritzers nationwide in March 2020, taking a definitive step beyond beer and into the wine category. 

Coming off a successful test in three markets in which the brand surpassed sales and turnover goals despite limited marketing support, Movo four-packs will hit retailers across the country, merchandised next to other canned wines.

“This is going to be a very big bet for MillerCoors in 2020, and it’s a great example of how we’re acting with speed to get products to market, testing them and taking those learnings and applying them,” says Sofia Colucci, vice president of innovation for MillerCoors.

Colucci, who is leading the innovations push for MillerCoors, says the company is committed to moving faster with new product launches positioned where consumers are going. That often translates into new beverages that follow two distinct paths: One led by health and wellness trends and another driven by flavor.

In many cases, those paths converge. Indeed, on Nielsen’s growth brand list, seven of the Top 10 entries are flavored. Eight of them either are positioned in line with health and wellness trends or perceived by consumers as lower-calorie, better-for-you options. What’s more: Eight of them could be categorized as innovations — products that didn’t exist four years ago.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for brewers like MillerCoors to be forward-looking and willing to take smart risks, Colucci says.

“Over the past year or so, we’ve really transformed our innovation approach, and the theme is ‘more,’” she says. “What you can expect from us in the next six months to a year is going to be even more, especially in the above-premium space.”

Movo is among a handful of innovations launched this year by MillerCoors as part of its effort to create new vehicles for growth in the both the beer category and in adjacent spaces beyond traditional beer.

The brewer also rolled out Sol Chelada and Cape Line, and it conducted limited-market tests on Saint Archer Gold and Arnie’s Spiked Lemonade and Arnie’s Spiked Tea.

Cape Line has been nothing short of a hit, landing a spot on Nielsen’s Top 10 Growth Brands list for 12 weeks and counting, as well as surpassing the brand’s sales goals. Sol Chelada, meanwhile, is the No. 4 new brand across the total beer category despite selling in only one package, a 24-ounce can.

Saint Archer Gold also is coming off a successful test launch and will go national in 2020, positioned to go head-to-head with Michelob Ultra.

Movo is hitting the market at a time when canned wine is on fire, up 92% year-to-date, according to Nielsen data. Hence the decision to take the product to a broader audience.

The wine spritzers, which check in at 100 calories per 8.4-ounce can and 5.5% alcohol-by-volume, will launch in three flavors: Peach White Blend, Raspberry Rosé and Blood Orange Sangria. It will be packaged in variety four-packs and standalone four-packs of Peach White Blend and Raspberry Rosé.

Made with real wine, sparkling water, real fruit juice or puree and natural flavors, Movo “is a modern take on vino that you’d drink in the same occasions when you’d normally be drinking beer or hard seltzer,” Colucci says. “Whereas most canned wines in the category don’t fit in those types of occasions — drinking one can of many of those brands is equivalent to drinking a half bottle of wine — Movo is light, refreshing and sessionable.”

MillerCoors, she says, will continue with so-called test-and-learns in the months ahead as it seeks to build and optimize its innovation pipeline.

And if some of those launches fail? “That’s OK,” she says. “That’s the whole point of testing and learning. This is a way for us to move faster. We fundamentally believe that the best way to succeed is to move quickly, put products out there, get real consumer feedback and refine products before we go broad and wide with them.”

MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a recent note to employees that the company is not letting up.

“We have the strongest innovation pipeline we’ve had in years … and we have our foot firmly on the gas pedal,” he said. “You’ll hear more exciting news about our brands in the weeks and months ahead, including even more innovation coming in 2020.”