By Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch
Molson Coors Beverage Co. highlighted the success of Vizzy and Coors hard seltzers in its third-quarter earnings report, but Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley also emphasized other areas of growth as the company’s turnaround plays out.
“The ‘Revitalization Plan’ has five core legs to it,” Hattersley told MarketWatch. “Seltzer is obviously a big part of the ‘beyond beer’ approach, but there are lots of other items that we’ve achieved over the last year. It’s more than just seltzer.”
Molson Coors /zigman2/quotes/205165133/composite TAP 0.0000% reported Thursday adjusted earnings per share of $1.62, exceeding the FactSet consensus for $1.02. Sales of $2.75 billion were down year-over-year due to the coronavirus, but also beat the FactSet consensus of $2.66 billion.
Sales suffered due to the lack of events when people would buy beer and other beverages.
“Consumption is up but not enough to offset all of the sporting occasions, concerts,” and more, Hattersley said.
Molson Coors’ “Revitalization Plan” includes efforts to support the company’s core brands, aims to grow the premium merchandise lineup and has a focus on areas “outside of the beer aisle.”
Hard seltzer off-premise sales year-to-date to Oct. 17 totaled $3.4 billion, up 183% year-over-year, according to Nielsen data. Off-premise includes grocery and convenience stores, as well as other places where alcohol can be purchased in order to be consumed elsewhere.
Vizzy seltzer, made with acerola cherry, which is high in antioxidants, is #8 on Nielsen’s list of top 10 growth brands in 2020, Molson Coors pointed out in its earnings release. And Coors Seltzer sold 500,000 cases in its first month after the August launch.
Vizzy and Coors Seltzer is facing competition from an increasingly crowded hard seltzer category that is expected to get more crowded.
Molson Coors has partnered with Coca-Cola Co. /zigman2/quotes/209159848/composite KO +0.86% for the launch of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer. And Molson Coors will launch Proof Point next year, a spirit-based seltzer.
“There’s a lot of runway in the hard seltzer category,” Hattersley said. “Differentiation is important.”
In addition to hard seltzer, Molson Coors launched Blue Moon LightSky, a light version of its popular craft beer, in February. That has become the top-selling new beer of 2020, according to Nielsen data the company quotes.
Coors Light and Miller Lite also continue to grow.