Coors plans to launch an iced-tea beer next month, just in time for summer. MarketWatch reports the beer industry is taking hints from the liquor industry, which has successfully marketed exotic mixed drink flavors. The beer industry, meanwhile, has seen its sales volumes decline for three consecutive years.
"Liquor companies are advertising more, but what they're advertising is more and more flavors and interesting concoctions that create some buzz," explains Wall Street Journal reporter Mike Esterl.
Furthermore, craft beer brewers, which typically sell unique flavors, have been swiping market share from big brands like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. As the saying goes: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Big companies are responding by rolling out some mixed flavors of their own. Coors' Light Iced T beer will be debuted in Canada and, if successful, find itself on shelves in the U.S. It will have a 4% alcohol content, but no caffeine.
The Wall Street Journal reports, "Anheuser-Busch, which boasts nearly a 50% market share in the U.S. beer market, is launching Michelob Ultra 19th Hole Light Tea and Lemonade in April for American drinkers. Its two biggest brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, have seen U.S. volumes slump in recent years."
MillerCoors, which claims 25% of the U.S. beer market largely thanks to its Coors and Miller brands, is tackling the cider market, "which is small but growing."
Beer makes up half the U.S. market share for alcoholic beverages. Hard liquor represents about a third of market share, and wine makes up most of the remaining market.
Business section: Investing ideas
Do you think this new direction toward exotic flavor and variety will pan out for beer companies? Will it help them win back their market share from the hard liquor and wine industries?
If you're looking for exposure to this trend, here are some of the largest beer companies trading on the U.S. exchanges. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas: Engages in the production, distribution, and sale of beer, draft beer, carbonated soft drinks, malt, and other non-alcoholic and non-carbonated products in the Americas. Market cap of $124.59B. The stock has gained 49.83% over the last year.
2. Anheuser-Busch InBev
3. Compania Cervecerias Unidas
4. Fomento Econ: Engages in non-alcoholic beverage, retail, and beer industries. Market cap of $130.68B. The stock has gained 30.24% over the last year.
5. Craft Brew Alliance
6. Boston Beer
7. Molson Coors Brewing
8. Vina Concha y Toro: Produces and markets wine products. Market cap of $1.68B. Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.65), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 1.77% over the last year.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Data sourced from Finviz.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Boston Beer. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Fomento Econ, Boston Beer, Compania Cervecerias Unidas, and Molson Coors Brewing. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.