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What A Difference 2 Weeks Can Make; Full Jul 4 Sales Sliced Lots Off 4-Wk Drop; YTD Improved Too

Looks like latest 4-wk scan data from Nielsen dropped a soft week and added a (very) strong one.  Data for 4 wks thru Jul 8 still shows volume -0.8%.  But it’s significantly better than the -3.3% for 4 wks thru Jul 1.  So getting in full Jul 4 sales made big, big difference.  Indeed, YTD trend improved to -0.8% from -1.2%.  Anecdotally, we’re hearing good things about Jul, so keep it comin’.  Above premium performed especially well in latest period: imports and superpremiums maintained +6% and +9% paces respectively, craft improved to +3% (vs +1.2% YTD) and FMBs reversed trend, going positive for 4 wks, +3.4%.  Premiums paid the price: volume -5.7% for 4 wks.  That’s improvement from near 8% drop in previous 4 wks, but premium biz still down 4% YTD.  Then too, each of top 4 premium brands softer for 4 wks than YTD.  Economy down just 0.5% for 4 wks vs -1% YTD.  Busch Light, Key Light, High Life, Bud Ice, Rolling Rock and Hamm’s each up for 4 wks and YTD.  That’s while Yuengling and Coors Banquet only premium brands ahead this yr.  Blue Moon Belgian White had great 4 wks: +17.7%, more than double its YTD gain pace.  Gotta be driver of better craft #s.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 19, No 136; July 21, 2017


Decline Pace in Scan Trend Nearly Quintupled Over Last Five 4-Week Periods; How Low Can It Go?

Tuff hits to beer biz just keep on comin’.  Volume off 2.8% for 4 wks thru Jun 17 in Nielsen all-outlet scans.  Four-wk volume trend steadily eroded from -0.6% thru May 20 to -2.8% thru Jun 17.  Yr-to-date volume trend now -0.8%, tho $$ sales still ekin’ out +0.6% gain.  Premium problems worsened: premium light and regular volume each off 6.6% for 4 wks.  Premium segment now down 4% yr-to-date.  Annualized, a 4% hit to premium beer is 3.3 mil bbls.  Economy beer segment softened in most recent period, but almost 3 pts better than premium trend yr-to-date: -1.1%.  Above premium still +3.7% YTD thanks to usual winners, but up just 2% last 4 weeks.  FMB trend improved slightly in most recent period, but still off slightly.  Hard sodas disappearing, Ritas and Redd’s in rocky waters, while Mike’s, Twisted Tea and Smirnoff Ice showing strength.  Do millennials actually drink their daddy’s  malternatives?

Also notable: Not only did Diageo rev up growth in scans to double-digits for 4 wks (10.2%), but Blue Moon Belgian White +9.5% for 4 wks, +6.6% YTD.  Bud Light/Bud trends worsened again: -8.2% and -9.2% respectively for 4 wks.  Coors Light took a 5.1% hit in most recent period, Miller Lite -3.4%.  “Three more stones” (15-packs) boosted Key Light trend to +6% for 4 wks, up 1.6% yr-to-date.  Economy segment really fracturing on price.  For last 4 weeks prices range from $12.03/case for Hamm’s to $17.13/case for Bud Ice.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 19, No 119; June 27, 2017