GENESEE INTRODUCES HIGHFALLS DIVISION FOR UPSCALE BREWS

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Genesee Brewing Co. is rolling out India Pale Ale while also introducing HighFalls Brewing Co., borrowing a technique from Miller Brewing Co. and its Plank Road Brewery division.

Genesee will use the HighFalls Brewing moniker on India Pale Ale packaging. This summer Genesee also will apply the new division name to packaging and ads for existing specialty brands J.W. Dundee's Original Honey Brown Lager and Michael Shea's Irish Amber.

17% OF SALES

Dundee's and Shea's accounted for 17% of Genesee sales for the year ended April 30, said Mark W. Holdren, the division's VP-market planning and promotions, making HighFalls the fastest-growing part of Genesee's portfolio.

"Leaving the Genesee name off [India Pale Ale] makes sense, because it's such a well-known brand name for popular-priced beers," Mr. Holdren said. "Most of the real growth and expansion in our business is with the new brands, though the Genesee brand could show us some real surprises as time goes on."

India Pale Ale will sell at a superpremium price, unlike the other popular-priced HighFalls brands.

The three brands will be marketed in 30 states and should roll national within 12 months.

Genesee spent only about $500,000 in media last year, on TV, outdoor and radio advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting. This year will see more Dundee's and Shea's radio and outdoor by Pedone & Partners, New York, but only point-of-purchase materials for India Pale Ale, done in-house.

The marketer has made no decisions on advertising for the new brand, Mr. Holdren said.

Genesee dropped TV from flagship Genesee Lager's marketing mix this year, shifting its budget to promotions.

The No. 8 brewer held 0.9% of the market in 1995, on par with its 1994 share, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. Dundee's Honey Brown is the brewer's star brand, selling more than 2.6 million cases in 1995, up from 930,000 in its 1994 introduction, Impact figures show. "We've set modest projections for India Pale Ale," Mr. Holdren said.

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