The idea of brand extensions has been around for decades. Brand marketers are constantly looking for ways to innovate around existing products by adding new elements. The latest trend in this area appears to be Iced Tea Beer.
Coors Light Iced Tea is being test marketed in Canada. Michelob Ultra 19th Hole Light Tea and Lemonade is being introduced this Spring, and Samuel Adams is tryiny out Twisted Tea.
Of course, flavored alcohol is nothing new--think of all the vodka infusions, or even the Zima craze in the 1990's (also from Coors), but we think it is funny how so many brewers are rushing out with essentially the same product.
Now, I like a good Arnold Palmer on a warm day (ice tea and lemonade), but the idea of tea in my beer will definitely take a THE FIVE happy hour taste test adventure.
Of course, these brand extentions are all in an effort to jumpstart flat/declining sales growth among the big beer producers. At the same time, smaller craft brewers have been growing, mostly by emphasizing unique brand tastes.