Can We Just Quit Calling MillerCoors a Beer Company?

When you have effectively exited the beer business, these kinds of ideas seem brilliant:
CHICAGO—MillerCoors LLC plans to launch a lemonade-flavored version of low-calorie beer MGD 64, the latest effort by a big U.S. brewer to rejuvenate slumping sales....

The company expects the brew to attract new consumers to the beer category, and to capitalize "on the growing consumer interest in flavored beers," Andy England, chief marketing officer for Chicago-based MillerCoors, said in a memo to employees Friday.... MillerCoors also will unveil a new marketing campaign for the main version of MGD 64 later this year as part of an effort to strengthen the brand, Mr. England said in Friday's memo. [bold added.]
A couple of thoughts:
  1. A warning sign that you may no longer be a brewery is when you begin to conceptualize your market as the "beer category."
  2. Once you remove the beer from your beer and replace it with lemonade, do you actually believe the customers you're attracting are being drawn to beer?
  3. If your business has become peddling beers flavored with lime and lemonade, does your brand have anything to do with beer anymore?
The article, which comes from the Wall Street Journal, ends on a luxuriously ironic point--one clearly lost to doomed MillerCoors:
MillerCoors's beer shipments to distributors, a measure of sales volume, fell 3.4% last year.... The announcement of MGD 64 Lemonade comes at a time of declining sales volumes for mass-market brews in the U.S. The industry has been hurt by stubbornly high unemployment and rising competition from wine, distilled spirits and small-batch "craft" beers.
At the moment people are turning to full-flavor beer and away from gimmicky swill, MillerCoors has a lightbulb moment: more gimmicky swill!