Blue Moon: The #1 craft brand is building on years of success.
Blue Moon is a fixture of the beer scene, a mainstay of draught lists in a wide variety of bars and restaurants. Led by flagship Belgian White, the brand family has secured its place in the glasses – and hearts – of its loyal fans.
The last few years have seen plenty of success for the brewery, even amid a global pandemic. As of press time, Blue Moon remains the #1 craft brand in volume and dollar sales YTD, with their flagship Belgian White fueled by the recovery of the on-premise. The brand has recovered over 80% of 2019 volume as consumers reconnect with a beer perfect for happy hours and meals with family and friends. Blue Moon also turns over 5x faster than competitors in the on-premise.
But even for a strong and beloved brand like Blue Moon, the old adage still applies: evolve or die. Blue Moon has chosen the former, developing a formula that keeps their award-winning brews on consumers’ minds and regularly takes the brand to new heights. It all revolves around reminding their fans what makes Blue Moon so special while continuing to bring new drinkers into the fold.
A Beer for Every Occasion
A big part of Blue Moon’s success is due to thoughtfully introducing new brands for different occasions. Blue Moon LightSky Citrus Wheat debuted at the beginning of 2020 as a 95-calorie sister beer to Belgian White, aimed at a more casual daytime occasion. Despite the now-obvious hazards of launching a brand at the beginning of a global pandemic, LightSky defied expectations and was the #1 new beer launch of 2020.
Things have only gotten better for the brand in 2021 – LightSky posted double-digit growth throughout the year, was the #1 light craft beer in dollar sales and was a top 10 beer brand in the off-premise, moving up six spots from 2020. And as much as 96% of that growth has been incremental to Belgian White, according to data from Molson Coors.
Then there’s Blue Moon’s newest offering, Moon Haze, which was launched last fall. The hazy pale ale is already an award-winning beer – Moon Haze won a gold medal for the best juicy/hazy pale ale at the Great American Beer Festival in 2020, beating out 136 competitors.
“With Moon Haze, the experience starts before you take a sip – you drink in the color change from hazy golden to orange with your eyes and smell the citrusy and hoppy aroma,” says John Legnard, Brewmaster at Blue Moon Brewing Company. “It surprises and delights because it’s got all of the fruitiness and creaminess of a Belgian White, but with this unexpected bite and clean finish.”
Moon Haze was developed to fit a “relax and unwind” occasion, as a reward at the end of a long day. “We have a lot to offer for every different occasion, whether it’s having a Belgian White at happy hour, a sessionable LightSky during the day or unwinding with Moon Haze,” says Legnard. “People need to realize there’s more than just one flavor of Blue Moon out there.”
NEW Blue Moon LightSky Tropical Wheat
Blue Moon always wants to be sure that any new products they introduce are true to the brewery’s roots and what they stand for. Anything new must be approachable, easy-drinking and should feature the orange notes that the brand is famous for. It’s a strategy they’ll continue to employ with the launch of LightSky Tropical Wheat. An easy-drinking light beer brewed with a hint of real pineapple and orange peel, Tropical Wheat is slated to arrive in February in 12-pack slim cans and will clock in at 95 calories.
“With flavored craft beer growing five times the rate of regular craft beer, we hope to give drinkers the variety they’re looking for,” said Sophia Lal, Senior Manager of Innovation for Molson Coors,
who notes that tropical is a growing flavor trend across all categories, including beer. With LightSky Citrus Wheat already appealing to drinkers aged 25-39 across gender lines, the addition of Tropical Wheat to the Blue Moon portfolio will no doubt expand the brand’s reach even further in that demographic, and possibly beyond it.
On the hoppier side of things, some fans have wondered if Blue Moon would ever consider releasing an IPA. Sorry to all you hop-heads out there, but the brewery has no plans for that yet – but they’re open to the idea.
“If we can create an IPA that fits a lot of the DNA of what Blue Moon stands for, then I think it’s definitely something that we would explore,” Joy Ghosh, VP of Above Premium Beer at Molson Coors, told Craft Business Daily in August.
The Power of Blue Moon
So, how can you make a powerhouse like the Blue Moon brand work for you for the rest of 2022? It’s pretty simple: keep the family together. Stores that offer both Belgian White and LightSky have seen a 2 to 2.4 times lift in recent months. To capitalize on this trend, Blue Moon will be taking a family of brands approach with some of their marketing materials going forward, including displays, shopper media, and even local media.
Blue Moon’s strategy of drawing in new consumers with innovations that fit different occasions is working. Consumers are finding their match in beers like LightSky and Moon Haze, and as the on-premise resurges, more and more are taking a second look at Belgian White, for the first time, or just the first time in a long time. Whether or not a Blue Moon IPA is on the horizon remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: Blue Moon has laid the groundwork for a 2022 that’ll be out of this world.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com/en-US
About Kramer Beverage
Kramer Beverage is South Jersey’s largest award-winning beer wholesaler, owned and operated by four generations of the Kramer family since 1924. Based out of Hammonton, Atlantic County, and services eight counties in southern New Jersey with top brands from MolsonCoors, Constellation, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, Diageo, FIFCO, and more. Kramer Beverage also distributes a wide variety of craft beers, from suppliers such as New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, to local favorites including Flying Fish, Double Nickel, Evil Genius, Glasstown, Paradox and 2SP. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.