Magazine article Marketing

News Analysis: Coors Seeks Feminine Touch

Magazine article Marketing

News Analysis: Coors Seeks Feminine Touch

Article excerpt

Will the brewer's 'Project Eve' unit succeed in bolstering sales among women, asks Gemma Charles.

A report from the British Beer and Pub Association showed that pubs, bars and restaurants sold 144m fewer pints between April and June this year than over the same period last year, sparking a rash of headlines proclaiming, 'Beer sales at lowest since Great Depression.'

Rather than crying into its beer at the gloomy stats, however, Coors Brewers is indulging in some fresh thinking. It has established a business unit aimed at persuading women to buy more beer by coming up with new products and marketing initiatives.

Mark Brumby, leisure analyst at investment bank Blue Oar Securities, understands why Coors is strengthening its focus on women. 'The future for pubs is about women. It's about food, families and females,' he says.

The Coors unit is the brainchild of Mark Hunter, the brand's chief executive. He left his role as marketing director of the UK operation in 2005 to take up a commercial position with Coors subsidiary Molson Brewing Company in Canada. He returned late last year full of ideas on how to shake things up on this side of the Atlantic, such as the roll-out of this unit, which is operating under the title Project Eve.

The group comprises seconded Coors employees - all women - from departments across the company. From 1 September they will leave their positions to work full-time on Eve.

Kirsty Derry, one of the Eve members, says the central question they were asked to unpick by Hunter was, 'Why don't women in the UK drink beer?' In South America there are two female beer drinkers for every three males, while in the US one in four women drinks beer. Yet in the UK, only 10% of women define themselves as beer drinkers.

Derry and the group have spent the past few months investigating this trend. She says the findings are not revolutionary, but have provided them with a firm launch pad. …

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