Sales of Animée, the lager for ladies, have reached just £300,000 in its first four months on supermarket shelves.

One of the three flavours in the 4% abv range, Clear, has secured only £67,746 in sales through the grocers since the brand rolled out last September [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 21 January 2012]. The other flavours, Crisp Rosé and Zesty Lemon, have sold £106,00 and £117,000 respectively. In contrast, sales of Molson Coors stablemate Carling Chrome - launched one month before Animée - have hit £1.9m.

Animée, which is stocked by Tesco, Morrisons and Ocado, has been developed to target what the brewer described as a £396m gap in the market created by only 17% of women opting to drink beer.

Despite the slow start, brand owner Molson Coors said it was encouraged by the response Animée had received. “It is early days and we knew it would be tough,” admitted Molson Coors commercial communications partner Kristy McCready. “We have work to do to help people understand the brand.”

The brewer said it had no plans to change the product or its marketing plans. Last October, it announced a £2m investment that started with outdoor advertising and sampling, which is a continuing focus.

It has just kicked off a sampling push in Tesco and Morrisons, and will be making Animée available to women who visit Toni & Guy hairdressers. Two weeks ago the brand launched a Facebook page.

Far more activity would be needed to make the brand a success, said Mintel drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth. “You can’t change a culture by releasing a product and doing a bit of sampling,” he added. “It is a huge job and £2m is simply not going to be enough.”

Molson Coors is launching limited-edition citrus beer Carling Zest this month.