The proliferation of smaller craft-beer brands and increased consumer promiscuity would not deter bosses behind Molson Coors-owned Carling from focusing on investment, the lager’s brand director Jim Shearer told The Morning Advertiser.
“I think my job and the job of the brand is to continue refreshing and to stay relevant and stay big in the sector,” said Shearer shortly after the brand revealed a complete refresh.
As part of the image change Carling's lager, cider, citrus twist and premier drinks now fall under the same identity, which will be rolled out to the on-trade this year.
The refresh would be a good platform for Molson Coors to launch new Carling products, yet, there were currently no plans to do so, he said.
Carling looked strong
However, the future of Carling looks strong and it is hoped the brand will remain relevant among consumers, despite the current challenges for mass-market lager, such as decreasing sales.
Diversity in the beer category had caused some issues for brands such as Carling, Shearer conceded, but it also gave more choice to consumers, which is positive.
He said: “The world’s beer market is changing at a pace, but I feel very positive about the way the category is evolving and the explosion in the choice is doing a lot to help the beer category.
“Diversity in the beer category encourages consumers to explore and that is great for the whole of the category.”
The current consumer trends around provenance and sourcing that come from craft beer could be taken advantage of by Carling in the future, Shearer added.
The beer is brewed in Burton-on-Trent, for instance, which has a vast brewing heritage as well as a whole story around its water. Also, the barley used in Carling is 100% British, which is a key story the brand wants to tell.
“I can already see that [the story] through our new brand design with the watermark showing the landscape of Burton-on-Trent,” he continued.
‘Talk about our heritage’
“We talk about our heritage, of the provenance and have spoken in the past about the procurement of barley.”
The story, along with other Carling messages about its sponsorship of the Premier League, will be told at the bar through the brand’s new digital font displays.
A prototype digital font display has already been installed in a Derbyshire Sizzling Pub & Grill, with further trials planned.
Meanwhile, the future of the beer category in the UK was likely to continue to change, according to Shearer.
Although he would not make specific predictions, he said: “Ten years ago, and even today, consumers can articulate grape varieties for wine and that is wonderful. For the future of beer that’s the way we would intend it to be.”