Lion has responded to declining sales across its XXXX brand range by launching a new dry variant under the historic brand.
Targeted towards the “up-and-coming generation of beer drinkers” XXXX DRY is billed as a new “easy drinking full strength (4.2%) lager”.
XXXX brand director Amy Darvill said up until now the business had been focusing on its XXXX Gold brand but tastes are changing.
“The dry style lager came out of quite a lot of research we did with consumers up in Queensland,” she explained.
“[Consumers told us] there’s certainly times and places that they love drinking XXXX Gold but they were after a different style of beer, and when you get away from the technical jargon, it was a dry style that they were gravitating towards.”
While Lion already has a number of offerings in the dry category, Darvill said it was important to have a beer under the XXXX brand.
“Hahn Super Dry is a fantastic beer, it performs well in Queensland, in Southeast Queensland in particular, but there is still a need for consumers to have a product available from the brand that they know the most and that they love the most,” she said.
“Whilst we had Summer Bright Lager available it wasn’t satisfying the need to taste like a beer. This has been designed for people who like the taste of a lager but want the ultimate refreshment that we know is critical for the Queensland climate.”
The launch comes as the flagship XXXX Gold continues to decline in the market, falling to below 10 per cent market share. While retaining the number one rank for volume, it has been overtaken by growth brand Great Northern in terms of sales value.
Darvill said the Dry launch was an attenpt to buttress the brand.
“XXXX Gold is a huge part of the beer landscape, it’s a huge part of our business, we’re continuing to support it,” she said.
“We just spent a lot of money from a marketing point of view in supporting this brand, but times change, and we need to keep our finger on the pulse in terms of what consumers are looking for. So undeniably XXXX Dry will be a shot at, for us, to maintain and increase the prominence of XXXX in years to come.”
“We saw the chance to revitalize the XXXX trademark. It’s hugely valuable to us as a business and bringing out new products is but one way that we can do that. the strategy was to how we can bring about renewed momentum in what is a very powerful brand asset in XXXX.”
She said the the brewery’s research surprised them that while younger consumers were attracted to the dry beer style, the XXXX brand was far from dated amongst younger consumers.
“This latest round of research has probably bopped a few myths on the head.”
“XXXX remains the most loved brand in Queensland. There’s probably been some feedback that we’re an old brand, we’re obviously over 140 years old, we’ve been around forever. Are we for your dad’s generation? But absolutely that’s not the case.”
While being a dry beer, the marketing focus isn’t on the low carb properties for the beer.
“We’re not calling out the low carb as a specific consumer claim,” Darvill said.
“The dry was used as an accepted and recognized consumer terminology on what are expectations for a dry-style beer.
“It’s pretty much dry or crisp these days. The low carb element, whilst we call that out specifically on some of other products, it’s not something that we’re using proactively to advertise this product.”
XXXX DRY joins XXXX Gold, XXXX Bitter and XXXX Summer Bright Lager. The launch will be supported through a large-scale campaign across TV, billboard, digital and radio.
XXXX DRY will be a permanent release and will launch on tap in selected venues exclusively in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with 330ml bottles to follow from April 2020.