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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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Bud and Bud Light each “under pressure” and down mid-singles in US again, ABI ceo Brito said on Q2 conference call. That’s putting it mildly. This marked 3d qtr in a row of mid-single digits dropoff on AB’s biggest brands, over half its biz. Trends worse in scan last few mos.  Bud Light down 8.4% for 12 weeks thru Jul 16 in IRI multioutlet + convenience and Bud down 7.5%. In all channels, Bud Light lost 0.9 share and Bud down 0.4 share in qtr, while AB lost a total of 1.05 share, figures AB. AB’s total shipments and STRs down about 3% in 1st half. That’s over a point steeper than each of last 3 yrs. But even as scan data shows increasing softness for AB (down 4.5% last 12 weeks), INSIGHTS could tell AB’s mgt not freakin’ out, tho not happy with share losses. Now we know why. AB managed to grow earnings and margins, despite soft volume.  Again.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 11
Leaky bucket of mainstream beer sprung some bigger holes in 1st half, according to Nielsen all-outlet + convenience scans.  But not all bad news for mainstream; some brands growin’.  Overall picture tuff.  AB volume down 3%, MC down 2.6%.  AB got very modest price/trade up and MC just a tiny bit.  So AB $$ off 2.1% vs 2.4% drop for MC.  Top 2 combined for 1.3 share loss in volume, 1.7 share loss of $$ in 1st half.  HUSA, Pabst, Boston and NAB each down for 6 mos too.  Winners all yr so far the same: Constellation and Mike’s Hard each up double-digits, +11.9% and +13.3% respectively.  Diageo Beer Co and Yuengling up mid-singles.  All in, beer volume off 1.2% in 1st half, $$ up anemic 0.3%.  Share loss to spirits continued.   Meanwhile, trends for each top 4 brand softer than last yr, as we’ve noted. Losses really steepened going into summer.  Bud Light and Bud volume -5.6% and 6.8% respectively yr-to-date thru Jul 1.  That’s a combined share loss of 1.3.  In June, Bud Light –9.4%, Bud down 9.3%.  That’s gotta be a record.  Coors Light went from holding volume in Nielsen all outlet last yr to -2.9%…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 13
Brewer taprooms and other expanded retail sales rights, plus self-distribution and other cross-tier exceptions, are especially hot topics playing out in state legislatures across US.  Some view expanded privileges as modernization, maturation and/or evolution; others call it deregulation and threat to traditional separation of tiers, not to mention path to same tied house abuses that led to Prohibition.  Panel at NCSLA mtg provided perspective from 2 regulators, distrib advocate and craft brewer. “Why Not Let them Expand?”  “Should They Be Punished for their Success?”  These two questions asked by regulators John Cordrey (Delaware) and Rick Garza (Washington), voicing response of state legislators when issue of extending retail rights and raising caps for in-state craft brewers comes up.  Both noted strong political support enjoyed by those craft players in their states.  Rick acknowledged growing concern about how to ensure compliance by so many craft players (WA has 900 wineries, hundreds of craft brewers and one of highest number of craft distillers in US).  But he did not seem terribly alarmed by that challenge and does not subscribe to notion that hybrid licenses “out of control.”   That’s even while “it feels like” there are more hybrid licenses (mix of producer, distrib and…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 12
No matter how you look at it, it’s been tuff start for 2017 volume.  Domestic brewers’ taxpaid shipments down 2 mil bbls, 3.6% for 4 mos, estimates Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich.  And Feb-Apr drop of 2.3 mil bbls, -5.3% is “worst three month period in over ten years” for that measure, Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling noticed.  Worse even than 2009, when total US volume closed out -2%.  Jan-Apr imports just flat, following somewhat shocking 8% drop in Apr.  That’s big disconnect, since IRI shows 7% import growth and Constellation depletions up 9-10% in first qtr. (Constellation brought in extra beer last yr related to recall and becoming independent of AB production.)  Now known yr-to-date US shipments off 2 mil bbls, 3%. Yikes! For 12 mos, taxpaids off 3.2 mil bbls, almost 2%.  Imports still up 4.4%.  That means US biz down 0.9% for latest 12 mos, vs a 0.3% or so gain in calendar 2016.  That’s more than a full pt swing.  Or 2 mil bbls.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 49
  • Issue # 11
“I don’t think we’ve taken share directly from beer.  Frankly, it’s arrogant and embarrassing when I hear spirit industry executives pounding their chests about how clever they have been at taking share from beer.”  So said Sazerac prexy Mark Brown at Beer Insights Spring Conference, perhaps surprising those who may have expected a bit of chest pounding.  Sazerac is 166-yr old spirit co that doubled its biz every 5 yrs for 35 yrs, now 50X bigger than in 1981, #5 globally, and oh yeah, owned by Bill Goldring, who also owns 50% of MC mega distrib Crescent Crown.  So Mark, who started career in beer biz, knows whereof he speaks.  Yet question remains: why has spirits outperformed beer and gained significant share of alc bev biz in US? “Convergence of unrelated events,” in Mark’s view.  Big beer “has its own set of problems which it created over 30 years,” primarily “sustained sophomoric advertising and abandonment of market sectors” and commoditized beer, to which “consumers responded accordingly.”  Ad comment no surprise and acknowledged by many in beer.  Market sector point is that US big brewers, in efforts to drive big brands, “left a huge white space” that craft brewers filled with…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 10
AB Gets Wicked Weed, Heineken Gets Tony Mageed   On May 3, AB struck again, apparently not quite done fillin’ in its regional craft portfolio.  This time AB filled southeast hole by purchasing one of NC’s most highly regarded brewers, Wicked Weed, known for sours and strong IPA portfolio.  Terms not disclosed, natch, but deal follows familiar pattern of owners staying on, saying they’re happy as hell to partner with global brewer that will allow ’em to do bigger and better things.  Immediate response from craft community pretty harsh as geeks loved these brands, but AB’s been thru it before.    Next day, dime dropped that Heineken will buy rest of Lagunitas at undisclosed price.  Recall, Heineken bought half of Lagunitas in 2015 for over $450 mil (implying value over $900 mil), and there was likely back-end adjustment as even Lagunitas hasn’t hit growth targets.  So final valuation likely less than what Constellation paid for (much smaller, and now slower) Ballast Point and implied valuation of TSG investment in (significantly smaller) BrewDog.  Tony Magee stays on as “global craft czar” and Lagunitas will stay separate from Heineken USA.  But Lagunitas has plenty to learn from HUSA, Tony sez.  Then too,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 9
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