GSD&M Gets Coors Ice; Zima Clearmalt Going National

GOLDEN, COLO. – Coors Brewing Co. may be carefully weighing its options before taking a dive into the ice-beer category, but it inched closer last week, assigning Austin, Texas-based GSD&M a Coors ice project.
Insiders say Coors handed GSD&M the project after considering both it and Tatham Euro RSCG/Chicago for a number of new-product ideas. While both agencies are working on specific new products, Coors’ ice beer seems to have the most potential. Insiders say if Coors does move on the brand, it could see a budget somewhere around $10-15 million.
But that remains an if. According to Coors officials, the ice category hasn’t been sufficiently tested yet in the U.S.
‘We have studied (the ice category),’ said Coors director of new products and development Bob Joanis. ‘Right now in the U.S., you have two different kinds of products out there. You have ice beers and you have the Genuine Draft attack. We’re not convinced either shows it is a viable category.’
Joanis said GSD&M is working on new products, but wouldn’t say whether an ice brew was one of them. GSD&M officials wouldn’t comment.
While cautious about new categories, Coors announced last week it is expanding its Zima clearmalt beverage nationally beginning in February after lengthy test marketing, convinced the clearmalt beverage does provide opportunity in a new category. Foote, Cone & Belding/San Francisco handles Zima.
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