Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs, abound in High End of US beer biz, several speakers at Beer INSIGHTS Spring Conference showed yesterday in Chicago, even if total beer stays flat (see below). Remember yrs ago when Constellation’s Bill Hackett put out goal for Modelo Especial to hit 100 mil cases? That seemed like a big stretch at time. But Modelo Especial will hit that number this year, Constellation Brands Beer Division prexy Paul Hetterich said at conference. “I would say we’ll do it,” said Paul. And Especial has lotsa “distribution upside” and so “could” become bigger than Corona, he added. “There is no doubt in my mind,” said chairman Bill.
Could Ultra Become 3d Largest Brand in 4 Yrs? Michelob Ultra growth accelerated last several yrs, AB chief mktg officer Marcel Marcondes showed. It went from +6% in 2013 to +23% last yr. But now Marcel is raising the stakes. AB looks to double Michelob Ultra by 2020, he said. If AB achieves that objective, that would make it roughly a 12.5-13-mil-bbl brand. And Ultra could be the 4th or possibly even the 3d largest US beer brand in 4 yrs. Howzzat? Consider: last yr, both Bud and Miller Lite at about 13.2 mil bbls in US, INSIGHTS estimates. Bud down 4% and Lite flat in shipments, down in depletions. Both continue down again this yr.
Mike’s Looks for About 50 Mil Cases by 2021 Also on an accelerating growth trajectory, Mike’s Hard Beverage Co. Its depletions were up 1% in 13, 4% in 14, 7% in 15, 10% last yr and 14% yr-to-date, prexy Phil Rosse showed, hitting 24 mil cases or 1.75 mil bbls last yr. But Mike’s looking to push further ahead with goal of doubling by 2021, which would put it very close to 50 mil cases. Can all these cos achieve their objectives?