Lion Beer Australia is poised to launch a second Iron Jack lager, against the backdrop of declining overall market share for the brewer.
Lion has trumpeted Iron Jack as “the biggest beer launch of the last decade” since its September 2017 debut.
“Iron Jack has sold over 15 million litres, more volume over the same period than established beer brands like Crown Lager, Stella Artois and James Squire 150 Lashes,” the brewer said in early May.
But the clear bottle upstart appears to be growing at the expense of Lion’s own brands, rather than those of its competitors.
Both Great Northern Super Crisp and Great Northern Original are continuing their strong growth for CUB, according to figures seen by Brews News.
Meanwhile, Lion’s XXXX Gold is continuing its long-term decline. But more concerning for the brewer is the recent demise of its contemporary brands, Hahn Super Dry and XXXX Summer Bright Lager.
Both have haemorrhaged share over the last quarter, most likely to Iron Jack, which is enjoying most of Lion’s focus and promotional program.
Hahn Super Dry was recently relaunched in new packaging in an apparent attempt to arrest its slide.
Lion has not directly addressed the apparent cannibalisation, nor the decline of its market share, which has continued long after its AB InBev brands transitioned to CUB in October 2016.
“Today’s beer drinker has a range of beers in their repertoire and the number of beers available is higher than ever before,” a spokesperson told Brews News.
“Many sectors of the beer market continue to face pressure and competition.”
Full-strength Iron Jack
Lion would not confirm or deny reports that Iron Jack will soon have a full-strength sibling, Iron Jack Red.
“We’ve been really encouraged by the initial launch of Iron Jack Crisp Australian Lager. But it’s still early days and we have plenty of work to do to continue the positive momentum,” the spokesperson said in response.
But the beer has already been shopped around to customers and a new trade mark lodged for ‘Iron Jack Australian Lagers’, with the plural language opening the door for a newcomer.
Lion has doubled the media spend behind Iron Jack in order to further drive awareness of the brand, the brewer said earlier this month.
“Iron Jack will have one of the largest media spends of any beer in the country in 2018 – comprised of a large scale TV, Radio and Billboard campaign which began in March and is centred around the beer’s message of ‘Thirst Crushing Refreshment’,” said Lion.