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Stone Brewing to release new "Extreme LemonyLime" malternative beverage

Stone Brewing announced today that the company will be entering the fast growing malternative market with a new product called "Extreme LemonyLime." The malt-based product will feature a light citrusy flavor and a 5.5% alc/vol.

"Our history as a company up to this point has been to brew full-flavored, big character brews for the discerning beer lover," stated Stone CEO Greg Koch. "We feel that we have been missing out totally on a segment of the population. After all, there are a lot of people out there drinking sweet flavored alcoholic drinks like appletinis, and we thought we should get in with the race to get their money too."

Like other category leaders in the malternative segment, Stone has made the flavor profile of the new "Extreme LemonyLime" no more complicated than a typical soft drink. "Sure, we could continue just brewing beers that appeal to the educated and sophisticated beer lover, but we decided we should be able to go after the lemming consumer too."

Even though Stone does not have a well-recognized distilled spirits brand partnering up with them in the creation of "Extreme Lemony Lime," the company feels strongly that there is a market for their new product. Industry reports suggest that legal-drinking-age consumers with the undeveloped palates of teenagers are demanding more and more light, fruity and fizzy alcoholic drinks. The company expects that the core consumer for Extreme LemonyLime will be in the very influential 21 to 21-and-a-half age group. "Consumers who buy these soda-pop flavored malternatives are clearly newbies to alcohol and don’t like the taste of alcohol --- they just want the effect. Our research has shown that our existing line-up of full flavored beers does not appeal to this type of consumer, and thus came the idea for Extreme LemonyLime."

"The word Extreme is hot right now, and we are especially pleased with our melding of the words ’lemon’ and ’lime,’ thereby creating the entirely new word ’Lemonylime,’" said Koch. "This word ’Lemonylime’ tested very well with our target audience when we interviewed them at the shopping malls and the Family Fun Center. It speaks clearly to the person who has grown up drinking gallons of soda-pop and eating several candy bars every day." The word ’Ice’ was also considered as a strong candidate to be in the name, but it was felt that target consumers for the brand might have trouble remembering a name as long as ’Extreme LemonyLime Ice.’

"We’ve put pictures of icicles on the bottle, which makes it look extremely refreshing," added Koch.

Figuring that the taste of the product is not nearly as important as throwing boatloads of money after it, the Extreme LemonyLime roll out program will include on-premise promotions coupled with billboards, print and broadcast advertising. Total media spending for the balance of 2002 is expected to reach more than ten million. "We have full realization that consumers for products in this segment are not able to create their own opinions and are superficially trendy," said Stone CEO Greg Koch. "As a result, we will spend heavily to lead consumers firmly by the nose to this trendy and approachable product."

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