Rosie Davenport
Coors Brewers has outlined its ambitions to fight Stella Artois for the crown of the premium beer market.
Coors is focusing on Grolsch's quality and distribution in both the off and on-trades as well as a solid pricing policy to leapfrog Kronenbourg and Budweiser in the premium sector before going after its Belgium rival.
Coors' off-trade sales director, Kevin Brownsey, said: "In the past we have positioned Grolsch as an alternative premium beer, but now we believe it is strong enough in its own right. Our policy is not going to be discounting as we were the only premium beer brand that held our promotional price last Christmas." Grolsch was one of the shining stars of last year, increasing off-trade volume by 35.2% and value by 38% [AC Nielsen MAT Nov/Dec 2002].
Central to the beer's push in the off-trade this year is the launch of the Home Entertainment System ­ a rack of branded glasses which slots into a fridge to ensure beer stays chilled once it has been served.
The rack will be available exclusively in Tesco backed by a £1.5m TV and poster campaign. The rack will cost either £11.99 with a 10-can pack or £8.99 as an individual purchase.
Coors Brewers said the system would be at the heart of its plans for the next two years with a new "component" in January.
The TV ads, which break next month, will feature Grolsch brand icon Ronald Top changing the way beer is drunk at a party by handing out the systems.
Poster ads in August will reinforce the message with taglines including: When it comes to cold beer, a cold glass can come in handy'.
Brownsey added Coors was determined to win the lion's share in lager and would therefore be "less focused" on Caffrey's and Worthington.