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Miller to drop Matilda Bay wine cooler.

Miller to drop Matilda Bay wine cooler

The Miller Brewing Co. announced recently that it will cease the production of Matilda Bay wine coolers in early November.

"From a business standpoint, it is economically imprudent for us to continue production and marketing of Matilda Bay," said Thomas Koehler, vice president of sales, Miller Brewing Co. "The segment declined more than 14 percent in 1988 and industry analysts are predicting this rate of decline to continue or increase this year."

Miller Brewing Co. spokeswoman, Beverly Jurkowski, said employees now working on the Matilda Bay line will be absorbed into other areas of the brewery. Currently, Miller's Albany, NY brewery is the only producer of the wine cooler.

Although Matilda Bay, introduced in 1987, had reached the fourth position in the cooler industry, Jurkowsky pointed out that the product never made money nationally because "the chips get pretty spread out by the time you get to number four."

Miller's retreat from cooler production leaves the Stroh Brewery Co.'s White Mountain Cooler as the only wine cooler still produced by a brewery. Previous players to drop out of the industry included Anheuser-Busch, Inc, which halted production of its Dewey Stevens wine cooler in 1987.

Market analyst Paul Gillette expects wine cooler sales to fall 25 percent in 1989 and added that the entire industry will "disappear in five years."
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Title Annotation:Miller Brewing Co.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Sep 18, 1989
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