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Test dispenser eyes undertapped home draft beer niche

MillerCoors tests consumer interest in at-home dispensing system.

Pw 5001 Miller Lite

MillerCoors LLC is testing consumer interest in a $20 draft-beer at-home dispensing system as the beer industry as a whole struggles for market share amid slow growth and voluminous competing brands.

MillerCoors is gauging beer drinkers’ reaction to a 1.5-ga “Home Draft” system for its two main brands, Miller Lite and Coors Lite. Test markets are Denver, CO; San Diego, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Columbus, OH; and Tampa, FL.

The system, designed for use in the refrigerator, consists of a plastic bottle with a dispenser screwed onto the bottle. The dispensing system is marketed in a branded e-flute corrugated carton that bears a die-cut window so consumers can see the tap system. However, the carton detaches along a perforated cut to make the dispensing system ready for use, confirms Julian Green, MillerCoors spokeswoman.

Green notes that minimal bottle shifting can occur inside the carton but that “piggybank” feet on the bottle help to keep it upright.

Home Draft is being marketed to “key beer drinkers that prefer the taste of draft beer” instead of beer sold in individual bottles and cans, Green says.

Consumers will pay a premium for the convenience of Home Draft. The beer costs about 15% more per ounce than for an equivalent 18-pack of beer, but MillerCoors believes an undertapped market exists for dispensing real draft beer in the home.

“Thirty percent of consumers state that draft beer is their preferred way to drink beer,” Green explains. “We believe consumers will be willing to pay for the innovation that brings the taste of real draft beer at home and stays fresh for up to 30 days, unlike other draft packages meant to be consumed in one sitting.”

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