Kick and Shok

Canada's biggest brewers join the caffeine crowd

Mar 15, 2005 - Canada's two biggest brewers, Molson Coors and Labatt, have announced plans to market beers infused with caffeine.


Molson will debut its new Kick brand March 21 in central and western Canada. Labatt will introduce its new brand entry Shok beginning in early April.

Both beers get their caffeine boost from guarana, a South American berry plant that both companies describe as being "a natural source of caffeine."

Anheuser-Busch uses guarana, among other ingredients, in the recently introduced B-to-the-E. BE is be packaged in a 10-ounce, slim-line can, similar to the non-alcoholic, caffeine-laden energy drink Red Bull, which has grown in popularity at bars.

Molson describes its Kick product as a premium lager. It will market it in clubs and bars in a "sleek, fast-chilling aluminum bottle." It will feature five per cent alcohol by volume, similar to most of its standard brands.

Labatt's offering, on the other hand, is being touted as a strong beer with 6.9 per cent alcohol. Shok will be sold in a smaller 250 ml can which will contain the same amount of alcohol as one regular bottle of beer. Shok also contains other "berry aromas," Labatt said.

Molson also announced a new marketing campaign to "revitalize and re-energize" its Canadian brand. The new slogan "It Starts Here."

Gone is Joe, the flannel-clad Everyman known for the the "I Am Canadian" rant. In his place is a varied assortment of fraternity pals and beautiful women, each one speaking directly to the camera to conjure up for the prospective beer buyer a first-person collection of surprise let's-party possibilities: the spur-of-the-moment road trip, the buddy with an extra front-row seat, the chance encounter with a love-hungry bombshell.

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