MillerCoors is introducing 9-packs of Miller Lite aluminum bottles in 20 test markets through the end of the year. The new recyclable packaging will have a sleeker look and will keep beer cool for a longer time.
The 16-oz. aluminum bottles will be sold primarily at convenience stores and other off-premise retailers. TV, print, radio and POP will show off the new look. MillerCoors will position the brew under the tagline: "Great Taste, Less Filling" in hopes of boosting sales. Miller Lite shipments to retailers declined in the second quarter by 1.6% from the comparable year-ago period, per SABMiller.
"The great taste of Miller Lite gets even better when it's enjoyed from our new aluminum pint," Grant Leech, Miller Lite's vp of marketing, said in a statement. "This package drinks like a bottle and cools like a can to deliver an invigorating taste experience."
The aluminum pint concept had been in development since before SABMiller, London, and MolsonCoors, Montreal, combined their U.S. brewing units in a joint venture in June. Miller Brewing tried aluminum bottle and slim can versions of Miller Chill last spring, joining Anheuser-Busch, Coke, Mountain Dew and a handful of other beverage brands that have also introduced edgy graphics and sleek contours in aluminum packaging.
Despite their cooling effect, aluminum bottles cost more to produce than glass packaging. On the upside, the stylish bottles have been used as a marketing tool to boost the image of brews, particularly in high-end nightclubs. A-B, for example, has been the most prolific marketer of metal bottles for such brands as Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob, Michelob Ultra and Bud Light Lime, which launched earlier this year.
Test markets for the Miller Lite aluminum pint will be Alabama, Arkansas, Dallas, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.