Total beer biz up just 0.1% for 1st 4 weeks of 2017 in Nielsen all-outlet thru Jan 28. Growth hard to come by. Broadly speaking, many leading brewers/imports start 2017 with very similar trends to how they ended last yr. That ain’t surprising. But it’s notable that Constellation accelerated to 18% volume growth past 4 weeks, while AB down 1%, MC down 2% and total craft biz up just 0.5%. That’s craft as Nielsen defines it (including Blue Moon, Leinenkugel, Shock Top). But note both Blue Moon and Leinenkugel shandies showed good growth in 4 week period, while Shock Top volume dropped 27%. Sam Adams family also down 21% and Sierra franchise down 10.5%. So it’s getting tuffer for craft. Meanwhile, last yr’s hottest brands Michelob Ultra and Modelo Especial look even hotter off a bigger base in early 2017 data, with $$ sales of each up by more than 25% (volume up 22-25%). Ultra gained 0.8 share of $$ and Especial gained 0.7. Corona brand up double digits too, gained 0.5 share of $$. Those 3 brands up 2 share. Interesting that 2 of top 10 growth brands, Busch Light and Miller High Life, are subpremiums. That’s 3 if you count Bud Ice, which is at price point kind of in between subpremium and premium. Avg subpremium pricing down 1% last 4 weeks.
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