Kokanee beer on U.S. conquest
The Canadian beer Kokanee is winning a faithful following in the U.S. Currently available in seven states -- Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Washington -- Kokanee's overall sales year-to-date (YTD) have increased 63.2%, according to Neilson numbers.
A big favorite in British Columbia for over a decade, Kokanee leapt over the border in 1994, landing in Spokane, WA, where it rapidly claimed pole position in the highly competitive import category. The company says the brew outsells Corona three to one in Spokane and makes up 10% of total beer sales in that market. In Portland, where it was introduced in 1996, Kokanee sales are up YTD 139%. In Seattle, where Kokanee was launched in 1994, YTD sales are up 58%.
Described as a golden lager with a smooth, clean slightly hopped taste, Kokanee is the winner of three prestigious international brewing awards: a silver medal in the International Lager Competition of the 1996 Brewing Industry; a gold medal in the American-style Lager Category of the 1998 World Beer Cup; and a gold medal in the Pilsner Beer Category of the 2000 Monde Selection, International Institute for Quality Selections.
Field marketing Director David van Wees said the brand's popularity is spreading as tourists sample and enjoy the favored local brew. ``Kokanee should be the quintessential hometown beer. It comes from the small Columbia Brewery in Creston, British Columbia,'' said van Wees. ``Yet Kokanee's appeal is reaching well beyond Canada. It's become popular with the snowboard and ski crowd and has taken on a life of its own.''
Kokanee Importers (Norwalk, CT), are the U.S. importers of the Kokanee brand.
Edited by Judy Rice,
Managing Editor, Beverage Online