In 2018, Monteith’s was marking 150 years. But it wasn’t all celebrations as changes to the craft beer market were seeing total craft growing at nine percent (volume), while Monteith’s was declining at -3.5 percent.
With craft helping consumers fall back in love with beer, one of the challenges Monteith’s faces is to drive consumer penetration and re-recruiting as many people as possible into the category.
The brand also plays a key role in the strategic growth of DB’s beer portfolio as research by Lab360 indicated that once consumers started purchasing craft, their premium purchases also increase. If DB could strengthen its craft portfolio, it would also drive growth within its premium portfolio that was led by Heineken.
Another insight showed when it comes to craft, there are four styles a brand should have including Pale Ales, IPA’s, Pilsners and Lagers – which equate to 78 percent of all volume sales.
IPAs are the king in the set and Monteith’s had a gap in its portfolio for an IPA 12 pack as well as an opportunity for an APA 12 pack.
The final insight was that Monteith’s traditional-looking packaging was getting lost in the face of bolder packaging from the start-up craft breweries.
Consumers were viewing Monteith’s as traditional, old fashioned and a bit of a ‘dad beer’ brand so it needed to be transformed.
The transformation started in 2017, with a packaging relaunch that saw the addition of a new bespoke embossed bottle to dial-up crafted cues. This was followed by a repositioning of Monteith’s marketing communications strategy and a new brand platform ‘Brewed for Right Now’. It harnessed its experience of craft credentials and delivered them in a way that made Monteith’s more relevant, sociable and approachable in the eyes of younger beer drinkers and its loyal consumers.
‘Brewed for Right Now’ tells the story that there is no such thing as one perfect beer, but rather, different beers are for different moments. A series of black-and-white, editorial-style spots, documented real groups of Kiwis and the spectrum of moments that we have a beer. The spots were broadcast on TV and digital, and supported by OOH and social.
The final step was to re-engage customers through a range of new brews and so were created the new Phoenix IPA—a nod to the original Phoenix Brewery in Reefton, established in 1868 by Stewart Monteith—and the Patriot APA.
Having been transformed, Monteith’s new positioning was amplified and extended through sponsorship properties with, The Black Caps and The Crusaders and supported with a campaign celebrating a series of memorable moments throughout a match.
The transformation returned the Monteith’s brand to growth. A year since it was declining at -3.5 percent, the brand was growing by 2.9 percent volume MAT.
And its new brews are proving to be a hit.
And since the launch of the Patriot APA in March, the total Monteith’s brand is growing at +18 percent volume and +13 value vs YA. Volume growth higher than value due to the category mix moving to 12 packs.
Within two months of its launch, the Phoenix IPA was the number one volume SKU in total craft and has since maintained its momentum.