Big beer brands like MillerCoors are being forced to think about how to reach the growing number of Hispanic alcohol drinkers in the U.S.
Hispanics are expected to go from 15 to 25 percent of the legal drinking age population between 2015 and 2045, according to a report from the Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc.
AB InBev, Budweiser’s parent company, has been importing Mexican beer brands it already owns, like Montejo and Estrella Jalisco, into the U.S., but MillerCoors doesn’t own any Mexican beer.
So what’s MillerCoors’ plan for reaching that growing market? Add alcohol to a traditional Mexican drink and put Spanish phrases on the packaging.
MillerCoors plans to add “un toque de piquete” — a touch of alcohol — to the traditional Mexican fruit drink aguas frescas. Ad Age reported about the new product last week.
In March, MillerCoors received labeling approval from the federal government for the product it’s calling Zumbida. The company didn’t immediately return an inquiry from Denverite about when Zumbida will hit shelves.
Zumbida would be on par with the average light beer with 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, a MillerCoors spokesperson told Ad Age.
MillerCoors is co-owned by SABMiller and Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. Molson Coors Brewing is set to gain more control over MillerCoors’ U.S. operations as SABMiller merges with AB InBev.
AB InBev introduced consumers to Budlight Lima-A-Ritas in 2012. But Zumbida will be MillerCoors’ first drink inspired from a Mexican beverage.