Miller Lite's Throwback Packaging Resonates

Miller Lite’s return to 1970s packaging seems to be striking a positive chord with beer drinkers.

Since the beginning of the year, more U.S. consumers say they would consider the brand the next time they are in the market to purchase beer. And that has also translated into more consumers who report recently purchasing the brand, according to YouGov BrandIndex.

YouGov BrandIndex research shows the percent of men between the ages of 21-49 who say they have purchased Miller Lite within the last 30 days has increased from 5% on Jan. 1 to 8% currently. The increase not only widens the gap between Miller Lite and the beer sector average, but also sees them gaining ground on key rival Bud Light.

Likewise, the percent of those consumers who say they would consider Miller Lite the next time they are in the market to purchase beer, has increased from 11% to 13% during the same time period.

Miller Lite introduced the original white can packaging in December and has been supported by a series of advertising spots touting its heritage as the original low calorie brew. The brand’s can sales have increased more than 4.7% this year through March 1. The original white cans were initially supposed to end in the spring, but their run has now been extended through Sept. 30.

Consumers in their 20s and 30s weren’t even born when the packaging first debuted. Even those in their 40s were children when it was first on the market.

"We often romanticize the past, and certain images can trigger memories from when we were younger,” YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli tells Marketing Daily.

In recent years, several brands have taken advantage of those associations.

“The major sports leagues periodically have teams wear 'throwback' jerseys,” he says. “Pepsi and Mountain Dew have had success with 'throwback' version of their namesake sodas (made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup). Miller Lite is perhaps the most recent example of a brand taking advantage of its successful history to appeal to consumers in the present."

Survey  participants included  1,250 men between the ages of 21 and 49, who were interviewed from Jan. 1 through April 20. The margin of error is +/- 2.5%.
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