Miller Brewing Co. of Milwaukee, Wis., is planning a national rollout of MGD 64, a 64-calorie version of the Miller Genuine Draft Light brand, in response to what Miller CEO Tom Long said was "broad-based geographic growth" for the brand in test markets, mediapost.com reported.
In a message this week to Miller’s distributors, Long said MGD 64 will replace MGD Light by mid-September in all remaining markets where the changeover has not already occurred, as well as in markets that do not currently have MGD Light.
MGD 64 was initially launched last summer in Madison, Wis., and is now widely available throughout the Midwest and West regions.
Last month, Miller said it was expanding its test markets to include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland.
Long said the brand has garnered strong response from consumers and retailers, and conversion from trial to repeat purchase has been higher than expected – nearly twice that of Michelob Ultra after its first two months in the market.
The brand has led a "dramatic turnaround" in sales, Long said. Midwest sales, for example, are on the rise after a double-digit decline a year ago.
Miller is planning an "aggressive" marketing plan to support the national expansion, including the introduction of television advertising on Oct. 1. The brewer will continue its current strategy of marketing the brand in unexpected places such as spas and health clubs, as well as in print, radio and out-of-home advertising.