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Mainstream’s Mojo Very Mixed while Modelo and Mike’s Portfolios Makin’ Hay; 6-Mo Review (excerpt)

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% for 6 mos.  Miller Lite’s -1.8% Jan-Jun also worse than 2016 trend.  But if these trends all channel ‒ are any of these brands likely doing better on-premise? ‒ that’s a collective loss in neighborhood of 1.7 mil bbls so far this yr.  Hard for other brands to offset such a loss by these 4 mainstream brands, still 37% of the biz.  And so far they’re not.  Interestingly tho, of remaining top 10 brands, only 1 down (Natty Light) and one flat (Busch).  Busch Light up slightly YTD in Nielsen scans.  Trio of top-10 brands very strong: Corona Extra up 5.7%, Modelo Especial +18.9% and Michelob Ultra gettin’ biggest pop of all: +20.9%.  Note too: among brands #11-20, only 2 down YTD: Natty Ice and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  So mainstream weakness really now concentrated among top 4 brands and a coupla others.  Three long-established brands growing: Heineken, Yuengling Lager and Coors Banquet.  Stella continued up double-digits; Dos Equis slowed to low-singles.  Relative newcomers Bud Ice and Blue Moon up 7-8% each.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue #: 13
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