Miller and Allied Toast RTD Joint Venture
Miller Brewing Company and Allied Domecq will launch two beverages, Stolichnaya Citrona and Sauza Diablo. Each will be available in selected markets from May and nationwide from June. The roll out will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign including on- and off-premise promotional activities, as well as television, radio, print and outdoor advertising that will debut from May, reports just-drinks.com.
In a statement Allied and Miller explained: “Stolichnaya Citrona goes head-to-head with other brands competing in the emergent flavored malt beverage category. It offers a crisp and refreshing blend of citrus and other natural flavors containing Stolichnaya vodka, creating a beverage preferred over competitors in consumer taste tests.” Meanwhile, Sauza Diablo is described as a natural-flavored malt beverage containing tequila and “margarita-inspired citrus flavors.”
Moderator Comment: Will the Stolichnaya brand translate into sales success with products that are not made with vodka?
The Miller Brewing and Allied Domecq deal comes on the heels of a similar agreement between Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi USA. Sales of malt beverages are forecast for multi-digit incremental growth for the next several years.
Smirnoff has recently begun taking heat over its IceTM product as some contend the company is involved in deceptive marketing practices. The argument goes that Smirnoff is vodka and that all the products with the brand name should have vodka as the primary ingredient. (Talk about nuisance suits.) [George Anderson – Moderator]