Nearly 25 years after it was first introduced, MillerCoors may be preparing to bring Zima back to the U.S. market.
The company filed for a trademark on the term in April of last year and the mark was recently published for opposition. Asked if the filing was an indication the company would be bringing back the clear, lightly carbonated alcoholic beverage, MillerCoors only indicated there would be more news to come in the future.
“If you’re one of the zillion fans who have missed Zima, the answer should be clear,” MillerCoors said in a statement.
The company’s trademarks on Zima and other related products were cancelled in 2012 and 2013.
The first “malternative” beverage, Zima was introduced to three test markets by Coors Brewing Co. in 1992. It was expanded to another 30 percent of the U.S. in 1993 and then taken national in early 1994.
The company briefly introduced Zima Gold, with “a bold, distinctive taste” in 1995, but pulled the plug on it after sales failed to meet expectations. Zima sales also plunged overall in 1995, declining 49 percent from 1994, according to securities filings.
The drink was advertised as “something different” but never returned to the sales levels it experienced following the initial national launch.
Coors introduced Zima Citrix into test markets in 1998 and expanded it to additional markets the following year. The introduction of other flavored alcohol beverages in 2002 hurt Zima sales volumes and the company sought to reposition the brand in 2004 with the introduction of other flavors under the name Zima XXX.
The company eventually discontinued U.S. production of Zima in 2008 following the formation of the MillerCoors joint venture, but continued to sell it in Japan and other international markets.