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Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS

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Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, our flagship newsletter, is published 23X a year. For the last 38 years, it has frequently been the first and often only publication to report the most important beer industry facts, trends, and insights. Each issue features four info-packed pages. Inside, you'll find the latest news and numbers about the US beer business, with a special focus on exclusive articles and analysis. Readers of Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS get the info necessary to stay abreast of the latest industry events, and the understanding of those events. Here's just a small sampling of what you'll find inside:

Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS is written by the most experienced and knowledgeable staff serving the industry. More execs keep up-to-date by reading Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS than any other beer industry publication.

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What’s shakin’ in #1 beer channel in 2017?  It too is soft, changing picture as trading up surges, economy segment firms simultaneously.  C-stores still about 28 share of industry volume, 1/3 of off-premise volume, Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich estimates.  Channel volume -0.7% yr-to-date thru Sep 9 in Nielsen scans.  That follows 0.2% gain in 2016, 0.5% gains previous 2 yrs.  Dollar sales up just 0.9% this yr, following 2.5-3.5% gains in previous 3 yrs. So, less volume and less pricing, not a formula for improved results. Even so, trading up stayed strong in c-stores.  Above premium picked up 2.7 share of $$ (to 37.8, still well behind above premium’s near-58 share of grocery $$), 2 share of volume.  Premium biz shed 2.2 share of c-store $$ this yr.  Economy lost just 0.5 share of $$ in channel and held volume share.  AB and MC each off 2-3% ($$ and volume) in c-stores, Constellation +13-15%.  Heineken and Boston each doin’ better in c-stores than grocery and overall.  Indeed, each built dollar sales in c-stores, tho their $$ down across scans.  Diageo and Mike’s outperforming as FMBs rival premiums in c-stores.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 18
A “both/and” consensus emerged from this yr’s NBWA-sponsored Center for Alcohol Policy conference.  By and large, govt officials and industry reps agreed 3 tier system “works” to effectively regulate alc bev biz and provide choice.  That’s even while system faces constant, numerous challenges.  Kans Atty Gen Derek Schmidt said flat out “the 3 tier system works.  That’s why no one has heard of it.”  While alcohol policy debates raged across US both pre- and post-Prohibition, that’s no longer the case, he said.  “Absence of controversy now,” outside of industry circles of course, “suggests it works and is supported” by public.  Indeed, NBWA-funded polling shows vast support for current system across geographic/gender/political lines.  Then too, Anoop Bhasin, genl counsel of WVA’s alc bev control admin, also embraced historical “success of 3-tier system,” despite challenges. Panel Anoop spoke on took up perhaps most serious current challenge to 3-tier: “the changing retail landscape and alcohol regulation.”  Talk turned to cross-tier ownerships and blurring of lines between tiers.  Summing up that topic, Drizly’s genl counsel Nidhi Kumar called it “a hot mess.”  And that’s while Drizly’s considered a chief “disrupter,” even tho it does not sell/deliver alc bevs, but facilitates sales.  In fact, Nidhi…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 17
Beer biz ain’t so hot in summer ’17.  Despite very easy comp in Jul (down mid-singles in Jul 2016), domestic brewers’ taxpaid shipments down 690K bbls, 4.6%, estimates Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich.  That wiped out entire May-Jun gain, following rough Feb-Apr.  So yr-to-date taxpaids off 2 mil bbls, 2%, Michael estimates.  And imports just flat thru Jun, cider still soft.  All in, known US shipments off about 2 mil bbls, 1.6% yr-to-date.  Actual trend probably a skosh better including tuff-to-track taproom volume (TTB is way behind reporting volume this yr).  Gotta figure import total/Mexican volume will get a bounce sooner or later, with known Constellation gain.  But overall, growth remains elusive as hell.  Even mid-range of Michael’s projection for 2017 volume, -0.5% to flat, lookin’ like a challenge.  For 12 mos, US biz off 1.7 mil bbls, 0.8%.  Lookin’ ahead, Aug taxpaid comp is tuff (+3.6% last yr), but Sep-Oct was especially soft, -4.5%.   Meanwhile, retail scans stayed soft thru mid-Aug after modest pop for Jul 4.  Volume off 1.4% in scans for 4 wks thru mid-Aug.  On-premise retail volume continues down about 2%, according to Nielsen CGA report.  Meanwhile, spirits slowed a bit this yr, but volume still…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 16
A funny thing happened on the way to duopoly.  It didn’t happen.  With each of AB and MC continuing to put up weak volume numbers in 1st half ‒ each off 2-3% for 6 mos ‒ their combined mkt share slipped to 2/3 of total shipments for 12 mos, we estimate.  That’s down from 78.2 share in 2008 when InBev bought AB, Miller and Coors merged.  For 12 mos thru Jun, AB shipped estimated 91.3 mil bbls and had about 42.3 share.  Down from 107 mil bbls in calendar 2008 (its peak) and 48.8 share.  Meanwhile, MC shipped about 52.9 mil bbls for 12 mos thru Jun 2017 and had approx 24.5 share.  Down from 64.5 mil bbls (also its peak), 29.4 share in 2008.  Neither AB nor MC gained share since AB held in 2009, MC ticked up 0.1.  Once again, Constellation’s gain jumps off the page, in stark contrast to competitors.  Indeed, Constellation only top-6 brewer up for Q2, last 6 mos and 12 mos.  And Constellation, along with Boston, is only top-6 brewer to grow mkt share since 2008.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 15
Not very many notable beer distrib transactions popped in 1st half but 2d half started with a bang. Frank Liquor, parent co of Frank Beer Dist and La Crosse Bev, will buy Beer Capitol, the state's largest beer distrib at around 9.5 mil cases. When that transaction completed around Oct 1, Frank will sell 17 mil cases of beer, over 25% of beer volume in state, and have almost 750 employees. Frank sez it will be one of top 20 US beer distribs. It will also be MC's largest distrib in its highest share state (40 share) selling 11 mil cases of MC brands. That's over 40% of MC biz in state (27 mil cases last yr). On top of it, Frank reportedly will sell about 1.3 mil cases of Constellation and about 1 mil of New Glarus too. Frank is a 4th generation family biz in Madison that sells beer, wine and spirits across big swath of geography in state. Beer Capitol owner Aldo Madrigrano is current MC distrib council chairman, former NBWA chair, one of the more outgoing and visible beer distribs. Not often that a sitting council chair sells. MC had tuff time in Wisc in recent…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 47
  • Issue # 13
The high end is still where growth's at in beer and indeed alc bevs as talks by AB's High End mktg veep Andy Goeler and Constellation Brands wine prexy Marty Birkel underscored at North Carolina beer and wine distribs meeting this week. AB has bought 8 craft brewers, selling somewhere between 800K and 1 mil bbls (Andy used both #s, could be 2 different yrs). AB's High End Unit has 200 employees, about 150 salespeople and all are Cicerone trained, said Andy, "spreading the gospel of beer." This is "amazing time for beer," Andy said, with "new vibrancy" based on beer's "unmatched flavor potential," that is both "more versatile than wine" and "complex as liquor." Andy pointed to recent bottle of Goose Island's Madame Rose on sale at Chi restaurant the Publican for $55, like a fine wine. Beer biz has to "elevate the prestige of beer" and "continue building brands." Andy's talk also had somewhat surprising focus on disruption. Andy detailed disruptions wrought by Uber on taxis, cutting value of NYC medallions in half in 5 yrs, and Air B n B on hotels. Uber has mkt cap of $50 bil, Air B'n'B $25 bil. AB clearly paying very…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 47
  • Issue # 12
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