Molson Coors retiring 11 ‘economy’ beer brands

Business

Molson Coors will be discontinuing a number of its economy brands including Keystone Ice, Icehouse Edge and Miller High Life Light as part of a company-wide effort to “premiumize” its higher-end offerings. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – It’s time to shed a tear into your beer – while it’s still in production, that is.

Molson Coors will be discontinuing a number of its economy brands including Keystone Ice, Icehouse Edge and Miller High Life Light as part of a company-wide effort to “premiumize” its higher-end offerings.

“This will improve our supply chain flexibility for our more profitable priority brands, enhance our innovation efforts, enable us to better focus resources and ensure dependable and on-time shipments to our distributors,” CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a Molson Coors blog post.

Molson Coors had previously indicated its intentions to deprioritize certain economy brands in an earnings report published July 29. Among the report’s highlights, Molson Coors noted increased net sales in its second quarter, driven in part by higher financial growth volume of its premium and core brands in Europe and North America. Economy brands, meanwhile, showed lower growth volume in the same regions.

Hattersley said Molson Coors planned to discontinue a total of around 100 of its items and SKUs (stock keeping units, or specific products) but did not specify which items or varieties of each brand. Hattersley said, however, that many of the affected brands had already paused production in recent months.

At least 11 national and regional brands would be among those being retired, representatives for the company have indicated to both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Food & Wine: Hamm’s Special Light, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Icehouse Edge, Keylightful, Keystone Ice, Magnum, Mickey’s Ice, Miller High Life Light, Milwaukee’s Best Premium, Olde English HG 800, and Steele Reserve 211.

In retiring these brands, Miller Coors hopes to strengthen its more profitable, premium brands, and allow for further investment in its “hard-seltzer” portfolio, according to the blog post.

The company isn’t leaving its economy-beer fans completely high and dry, though: Local distributors and sales teams are working together to “identify swaps that make sense” for different markets, Food & Wine reports.

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