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No Mo’ Going Into Labor Day Weekend; Beer Volume -0.4% for 4 Wks thru 9/2, Say Nielsen Scans

Beer biz just can’t turn it around this summer.  Volume slipped 0.4% for 4 wks thru Sep 2, Nielsen scans show and yr-to-date stayin’ stubbornly soft at -0.7%.  And huge Tex and Fla storms will only further dampen short-term trends.  Key segment, supplier and big brand trends continue in most recent period: above premium, Constellation, Diageo Beer and Mike’s outperforming; premium biz, AB, MC and most other top suppliers underperforming; economy segment holding even with winners and losers. Note a coupla changes in top growth brands in Aug vs Jul.  Seven of top 10 the same, usual suspects.  But 3 of Jul’s top growth brands – Stella, Blue Moon and Zima – fell out in Aug.  Replaced by two hard seltzers, White Claw and Truly Spiked, plus Leinie Seasonal Shandy.  Stella and Blue Moon Belgian White each still up double-digits for 4 wks, but their volume gains a bit lower than the newbies’ for this period.  Meanwhile, top 4 brands shed 2.55 mil cases collectively for 4 wks.  That’s while entire above premium segment expanded by 2.2 mil cases.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 19, No 172; September 12, 2017


Imports Finally Pop as Part of Mexico Mystery Solved: +10% in July, Boosts YTD Import Trend a Point  

There it is. At least some of Mexican import volume we’ve been expecting, based on much stronger trends in scan data and Constellation reports, finally showed up in import data. Imports up strong 9.5%, 270K bbls in July, Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich reported today based on Commerce Dept data. Mexican imports alone up over 17%, well over 300K bbls. For 7 months, Mexican imports up 2.7%. That’s still behind Constellation’s reported trends, but getting closer. Balance of imports still struggled in July, but Dutch shipments turned around, up 1.8% for the month. Still down 1.2% for 7 mos. Canadian shipments down almost 4%, barely better than YTD. Big Belgian decline still mostly offset by strong growth in shipments from Germany. Irish imports up 32% for the month, bringing YTD trend closer to flat, tho still off 0.4%. UK imports still well off, while shipments from Italy up mid-teens thru Jul and return of Red Stripe production to Jamaica put that country back in top-10 import origin countries. All told, imports up about 310K bbls for 7 mos, +1.5%. A couple more strong months could bring that back in line with mid-high single-digit gains in scans. But 270K-bbl import gain in July only offsets a piece of big 700K-bbl drop in US taxpaid shipments for the month. Known shipments still down close to 1.7 mil bbls, -1.3% YTD thru July.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 19, No 167; September 6, 2017