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INSIGHTS Express is designed for busy beer execs who want faster news and more info. Available via fax or email (your choice), INSIGHTS Express delivers subscribers breaking news, key numbers, pithy quotes, and other interesting info 2X a week. That's over 100 issues each year.

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Following big changes in Colo and Okla last year, Kansas legislators passed law allowing grocery and c-stores to sell beer up to 6% ABV starting in 2019. Til then they’re still limited to 3.2 beer. As in Colo, indie liquor stores pushed back against chain-driven attempts to expand options. Gov signed “compromise” allowing stronger beer sales, not including wine, while giving liquor stores option to sell cigs, lottery tickets, mixers and ice, previously barred. Move further questions future of 3.2 beer, as state after state with separate rules for weaker beer drop or at least adjust them.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 74
State data shows cans at 55.8 share of shipments last yr, up nearly a full share from 2015 and 7+ share over last decade, according to Beer Inst data.  Meanwhile, bottles slipped to 1/3 of the biz, down 9 share over last decade.  Draft holding at 10 share, up a point since 2006, but not budging much over last 5 yrs. Gotta figure boom in taproom/craft sales this period offset by draft decline suffered by mainstream beers. State-by-state package shares vary significantly.  Draft has near 20 share in craft mecca Colo and over 20 in DC.  But it’s only 7.4 share in Tex, 4.6 in Louisiana and mid-single digits in several other southern mkts.  Cans are king in much of South and Midwest where 60+ can shares common.  Big bottle mkts, over 40 share, are combo of tourist destinations (HI and NV), plus some northeast mkts: CT, MA, NJ and RI.  Plastic bottles still not getting traction, sitting at just 0.5 share. Here are a few talking points from Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich: 1) 2/3 of all beer consumed in US still in 12-oz packages or less; 2) glass still dominates in imports and craft (bottles near 2/3 of…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 72
FMB drinkers remain fickle, tryin’ and droppin’ new brands galore.  Yet a coupla constants, even in this volatile segment.  Mike’s Hard is a steady winner.  So is Twisted Tea.  Sparkling set of numbers for Mike’s Q1 shared by prexy Phil Rosse.  Mike’s depletions up 12% in Q1.  How good is that?  It’s an acceleration vs +10% in 2016 and an almost a 20-point swing compared to -5.4% trend for FMB segment in Nielsen all-outlet scans.  A few more numbers: Mike’s Harder 24-oz cans pickin’ up distribution and +51%, even as 16-oz cans +16%.  Cayman Jack now in 15 states, $$ sales +27% in Q1.  White Claw hard seltzer #1 in category, Phil sez, and “has highest repeat purchase rate” in segment. Mike’s will boost 2017 A&P spend 20%, Phil reminds, and it will put over $10 mil in mktg $$ behind White Claw this summer.  Like Constellation execs, Phil pushing message to distribs/retailers that high end deserves more focus and shelf space.  “Currently, the high end only has 33% of the off premise shelf space, but 50% of the dollars and 100% of the growth.” Meanwhile, Twisted Tea remains brightest spot in Boston’s portfolio.  Up 15% in Q1 Nielsen scans,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 69
Given Easter timing, no surprise that scans actually softened in most recent period, down nearly 3% for 4 wks thru Apr 1 in Nielsen all-outlet scans.  For Q1, volume -1.2%, $$ sales eked out just 0.1% gain. AB down 4.5% in Mar, 2.5% for the qtr.  MC down 3.8% in Mar, also -2.5% for the qtr.  Constellation still up 8.6% in Mar, almost 12% for 3 mos.  Only other gainers in Q1: Mike’s +13% and Diageo Beer Co +2.3% riding good St Pat’s numbers.  Premium biz down near 4% yr-to-date while economy off just 1%.  Above premium slowed to 2.4% gain, but still picked up 1.1 share of volume, 1.4 share of $$.  But that’s all imports and Mich Ultra as craft volume down 0.6% for the qtr and share flat.  Ugly short-term numbers: Bud Light and Bud each off at least 7% in Mar, -4.6%, -6.2% respectively yr-to-date.  Less ugly, but not pretty: Coors Light and Lite each took over 3% hits in Mar, down 1.8%, 1.4% respectively in Q1. Still lookin’ good, Q1 gains for: Michelob Ultra (+20.2%), Corona (+6.6%), Modelo Especial (+17.5%), Heineken (+2.5%), Stella Artois (+13%). Mar shipments #s not available yet, but recall Jan-Feb -2.4%.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 68
Yuengling joins other cos like Constellation in recent broadening of brewers/importers that are cutting sponsorship deals with major league sports teams that perhaps can no longer count on AB/MC to step up to plate in as significant a way.  Yuengling is first new beer sponsor for the Phillies in 40 years.  Sponsorship will include an “outfield wall sign, digital sign and in-stadium sign featuring the brewery’s flagship beer.”  Also, this week Yuengling entered Indiana with packaged beer, reportedly greeted by $17.99 cases of Michelob Ultra.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 66
Beer biz should be thankful that Amazon isn’t big as beer retailer.  At least not yet.   Amazon has invited some of world’s biggest brands to its Seattle hq “in an audacious bid to persuade them that it’s time to start shipping products directly to online shoppers and bypass chains like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco,” reported Bloomberg.   Yikes.  This will be a 3-day meeting in May.  Attendees already include big CPG cos like General Mills and Mondelez.  “Amazon is looking to upend relationships between brands and brick-and-mortar stores that for decades have determined how popular products are designed, packaged and shipped.”  Here’s Amazon’s language in invite: “Times are changing.  Amazon strongly believes that supply chains designed to serve the direct-to-consumer business have the power to bring improved customer experiences and global efficiency.  To achieve this requires a major shift in thinking.”  And in alc bevs, would require a shift in law in most states.  Scary stuff. What’s more, Amazon and Walmart now “in an all out price war that is terrifying America’s biggest brands” in other consumer packaged goods, headlined Recode mag last Thursday.  “Grocery suppliers are feeling the squeeze—big time,” it added.  Walmart has “renewed focus” on “Everyday Low Price”…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 61
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