After relatively successful launches, both MC and AB hard soda lines may well face tuff road ahead. MC’s Henry’s Hard Soda sold almost 2.3 mil cases, ringing up $81.1 mil in $$ sales in IRI multi-outlet + convenience for full yr thru Dec 25. More than 2/3 of that in original Orange flavor ($55.4 mil), but Henry’s added almost $21 mil in Ginger Ale, $3.9 mil in Cherry and $875K in Variety Pk variants. Collectively, these brands added 1%, virtually all incremental, to MC’s $7.85 bil in $$ sales in IRI MULC. And 0.6% of volume. But this yr, it has to cycle those numbers. And if past is prologue, that ain’t gonna be pretty. Already, Henry’s Hard Soda brands are demonstrating significant seasonality, as they sold 365,000 cases last 12 weeks, far less than ¼ of yr’s total. Can Henry’s avoid the boom/splat syndrome?
Meanwhile, AB’s Best Damn Root Beer sold 1.7 mil cases, $66.5 mil thru Dec 25. Similarly, over 2/3 of that’s from Root Beer variant while Cherry Cola ($20.8 mil) and Apple Ale ($2.2 mil) make up the rest. But collectively, Best Damn family’s a much smaller % of total co sales relative to MC; just 0.4% of AB’s total $$ and 0.2% of volume. As has been case with other alc root beers in the mkt, Best Damn Root Beer already unable to cycle launch. Its $$ down 51% for latest 4 wks, dragging total brand family down 27% for period. Recall, Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Coney Island Hard Root Beer have declined at 60-70% rates in recent mos.