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Break Down “Artificial Lines” Between Alc Bevs as Large Brewer Portfolios “Off Target,” Brett Sez

Beer biz needs “to reset” its view of “addressable market relative to the historical definition of alcohol v non-alcohol and then as beer v wine and spirits,” Consumer Edge’s Brett Cooper wrote yesterday. “This is not the construct or manner which the consumer chooses what beverage to consume and in our view, such a narrow view of the world inherently has all beverage companies missing incremental consumption opportunities,” he continued. Brett riffed off of article we published in sister-pub Craft Brew News on Wed, highlighting Oskar Blues’ RTD pre-packed canned Moskow Mule cocktails and Lagunitas’ limited-release cannabis-flavored collab. Unclear how big either project will get. But Brett dug in on boundary-crossing products.

“History has dictated artificial lines which may no longer be relevant,” he wrote, explaining “social cost” associated with alc bevs kept ’em separate from non-alcs, whereas current debate on sugar now challenging that. Simply: “the lack of large beverage companies’ willingness to play across all beverage consumption occasions has hampered their growth in our view.” Within beer specifically, “the challenge” faced by bigger cos, “is that their portfolios (in total) are off target from where the consumer is today and where they seem likely to be in 5 years such that their business will likely be in structural decline.” He sees stabilization of premium and subpremium biz as “highly unlikely,” so brewers “need to expand beyond historical segment definitions.” There’s been “some movement here,” Brett notes, perhaps alluding to investments in smaller bevs of all types by AB, usually via ZX Ventures outfit.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue #: 157
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