Lime-A-Rita’s Redesign, One Year LaterApril 06, 2018 - by Jessica Olszyk
Lime-A-Rita: Comebacks and New Challenges
Over a year ago, parent company AB InBev revamped their Lime-A-Rita malt beverage line and found great success. The brand was an early adopter into the malt beverage category, which has helped AB InBev stay in control as the category expands in popularity and variety. This relaunch included a product redesign and new flavors that appeal to their new target audience: millennial women. AB InBev then went a step further and put together an all-female executive team to lead the relaunch campaign. This was the first time AB InBev had a brand solely target women.
Since the relaunch, AB InBev reported a 5.1% revenue growth overall for 2017, navigating an industry that is increasingly turning to small brewing companies. The brand Lime-A-Rita itself has enjoyed a resurgence in interest and has been featured in a number female millennial media publications, including Cosmopolitan and theSkimm.
In February of 2018, Lime-A-Rita introduced the personas of 3 sassy, older women as the “Ritas”, and developed a lifestyle image around the idea that “any moment can be a party”. In addition to their “Make it a Margarita Moment” campaign this past February, AB InBev have recently launched a “Rita Says” campaign on social media. The premise is a modern advice column penned by the Ritas. The goal – as seen with sassy the Twitter accounts of companies such as Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s – is increased engagement between consumers and brands. This brand development plays into Lime-A-Rita’s new feel: distinctly feminine, fresh, flirty, and ready to party.
The 2017 revamping of the brand included a package redesign, introduction of new flavors, and female-focused advertisements. So far, this approach has worked. The package redesign went from loud, brash, and rough around the edges to sleek, modern, and colorful. The core lineup of flavors includes Grape-A-Rita, Straw-Ber-Rita, and Lime-A-Rita. Additions to the lineup include the returning Water-Melon-Rita, as well as newcomers Pine-Apple-Rita, Mang-O-Rita, Lemon-Ade-Rita, Peach-A-Rita, Coco-Nut-Rita, Grape-Fruit-Rita, and Orange-A-Rita. Lime-A-Rita also cultivated a deeper focus on their target market of millennial women ages 25 to 29. They developed an ad campaign with female executives called “Make it a Margarita Moment” which highlighted the flirty party nature of the Lime-A-Rita line.
An added challenge this year for Lime-A-Rita will be the launch of Constellation Brand’s Corona Refresca line. This malt drink stands to be direct competition for the Lime-A-Rita line, as they too have a sleek, colorful package. This package has Instagram-friendly traits as well: script, bold colors, and pop art illustrations. However, Constellation Brand has key differences to the Refresca line. The two flavors offered will be Guava Lime and Passionfruit Lime, which are more “curated” flavors compared to Lime-A-Rita’s line of straight fruit flavors. Lime-A-Rita has the lead going into this battle, with their product recognition as well as renewed buzz around its newest flavors. However, Refresca has the aura of a new product as well as unique flavor profiles. Both brands seem to be evenly matched on their aesthetic, what will determine who gains more market share will be preference to flavor profiles and consumer’s willingness/hesitation to buy new products.