Molson Coors has soft-launched a new low-ABV, fruit-flavoured range of Carling lagers, nine months after it axed a range with striking similarities aimed specifically at women.
Carling Fruit Coolers hit the shelves of Asda this week, where they are priced at £5 for a pack of four 330ml bottles. The 2% abv brew comes in two flavours – lemon and grapefruit – and is available exclusively in Asda.
Although Molson Coors has made no mention of the target consumer for Carling Coolers, the product bears many similarities to Animée, the fruit beer for women launched in 2011 and pulled last September after a disastrous year on the shelves.
“I thought they had relaunched Animée when I saw it,” said one shopper who spotted the brand in Asda yesterday. The packaging of both brands use a similar colour palette (see below), although Cooler’s abv is half that of Animée. The women’s beer brand was also available in a lemon flavour, as well as rosé and clear variants.
“Consumer lifestyles are changing and lighter products are in huge demand. Carling Fruit Coolers are refreshingly fruity and a different way to enjoy Carling,” said Carling brand director Jeremy Gibson.
“Asda’s dedication to building the lighter category makes them the perfect partner and, working together, we are offering consumers even more choice with products that match changing tastes.”
The new range was inspired by the success of Carling Zest, the 2.8% ABV fruit beer launched in March 2012, said Molson Coors. Nielsen figures show that Zest – including citrus, spiced and ginger variants – racked up £10.2m of sales in its first year [52 w/e 28 April].