People are consuming just as much hard seltzer now during the coronavirus pandemic as they were beforehand, which makes it the perfect time for Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) to take its new Vizzy brand national.
This won't be the brewer's first hard seltzer on the market -- like Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), it has three different brands -- but Vizzy is the one Molson Coors is putting most of its marketing muscle behind.
What's the difference?
Hard seltzer continues to surge in popularity, with sales up almost 300% in 2020 and little sign of the enthusiasm for the flavored malt beverage abating. Sales surged 327% in the final week of March from the year-ago period.
But shelf space is crowded. Beyond Vizzy, Molson recently introduced a Coors-branded seltzer, and it also has its Henry's line. Anheuser-Busch has Bon & Viv, Bud Light, and Natural Light brands. The market leader is Mark Anthony Brands' White Claw, which together with Truly from Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) makes up more than 80% of seltzer sales.
Breaking into the big leagues won't be easy for Vizzy, but beyond just throwing money at marketing, Molson plans to position its seltzer to capture health and wellness sales, loading Vizzy with antioxidants from the superfruit acerola.
Elizabeth Hitch, hard seltzer director for Molson Coors, said, "When we created Vizzy, we knew we needed to come to the segment with a distinct point of difference that consumers actually care about, and antioxidant vitamin C consistently rose to the top."
The seltzer will come in four flavors and will be competitively priced with White Claw and Truly.