Business, Finance & Economics

Coors beer owner launches pink beer, targeted at women

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Molson Coors has launched a beer targeted at women in the U.K: Animée. It's pink. (Image from 215beer.com.)

Story from The World. Listen to the above audio for a complete report.

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On just about any Friday night in London, the pubs are packed.

Men and women are squeezed into cramped, dark rooms downing their favorite drinks. They drink together, but they don’t drink the same thing — at least that’s what statistics say.

“One of the challenges we have in the UK is that only 17 percent of beer here is drunk by women,” said Molson-Coors representative, Kristy McCready.

Her company has just launched Animeé beer in the United Kingdom. A beer for women.

McCready said beer companies haven’t appealed to women.

“We’ve done one of two things when it comes to women and beer, we’ve either ignored them completely or we’ve very much patronized them by making them sex objects in adverts. So we have three flavors, there’s a clear filtered version, there’s a lemon flavor and there’s a rosé version.”

Rosé — as in pink. Pink. Beer.

McCready said her company surveyed thousands of women in the UK who said they wanted a beer that was less filling with a less bitter taste. And they wanted more stylish branding.

Animeé is sold in a delicate four pack. And the calorie count, 101, is shown prominently on the label

But buying Animeé – at least at first – may be a daunting experience. In a local supermarket, a man behind the cash register held up a case of Animée beer and stared at it.

He burst out in fits of laughter when told the purchaser chose it because of its pink color.

But, he’s a man and Animeé isn’t for him.

A group of Londoners — all women — did a very unscientific taste test.

One taster said it was very sweet.

"Tastes like lemonade with a bit of beer," she said.

Another taster said it still smelled like beer.

"I don’t like (beer), for taste. (Animée) doesn’t taste like an awful lot actually.

Another female taster said it reminded her of an alcoholic bubble bath. Or a very gentle mouth wash.

All the women tasted the rosé and there are two other flavors of Animeé. But the taste isn’t the only potential drawback. Some women aren’t thrilled with being sold “girly” products.

Alcoholic drinks industry analyst Spiros Malandrakis said branding beer for women has been done before with mixed results.

“The problem with many of these launches in the past has been the very patronizing character many companies adopted,” Malandrakis said. “It was very pink, definitely feminine approach. So in many cases it has kind of backfired.”

The makers of Animeé are hoping in this case pink won’t equal patronizing.

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PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More about The World.

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