MillerCoors' president and chief commercial officer thinks that this may be the most opportune time in two decades for insurgent brands to make inroads against category leaders, Jenny Wiggins reports.
"People are reconsidering their purchases," according to MillerCoor's Tom Long. And that means that his beers are right where they want to be against AB InBev's Bud and Bud Light. "They are big
brands without a razor sharp position," Long says.
MillerCoors was formed after SABMiller merged its U.S. operations with Molson Coors a year ago, giving it 30% of the market. AB InBev,
however, controls half the market, and its overall sales volumes have been stronger than MillerCoors' over the past six months, helped by the launch of Bud Light Lime last year. But sales of Bud Light
are flat while Coors Light's sales are up about 4%. Miller Lite dropped about 7% compared year to year.
Bernstein Research analyst Trevor Stirling thinks that MillerCoors has a tough task
ahead of it because "consumer preferences in terms of beer brands tend to move very, very slowly." He also feels that it will be difficult to convince consumers that there's a heck of a lot of
difference between the similarly priced Miller Lite and Coors Light.
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