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.