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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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Total beer biz up just 0.1% for 1st 4 weeks of 2017 in Nielsen all-outlet thru Jan 28.  Growth hard to come by.  Broadly speaking, many leading brewers/imports start 2017 with very similar trends to how they ended last yr. That ain’t surprising.  But it’s notable that Constellation accelerated to 18% volume growth past 4 weeks, while AB down 1%, MC down 2% and total craft biz up just 0.5%.  That’s craft as Nielsen defines it (including Blue Moon, Leinenkugel, Shock Top).  But note both Blue Moon and Leinenkugel shandies showed good growth in 4 week period, while Shock Top volume dropped 27%.  Sam Adams family also down 21% and Sierra franchise down 10.5%.   So it’s getting tuffer for craft.   Meanwhile, last yr’s hottest brands Michelob Ultra and Modelo Especial look even hotter off a bigger base in early 2017 data, with $$ sales of each up by more than 25% (volume up 22-25%).  Ultra gained 0.8 share of $$ and Especial gained 0.7.  Corona brand up double digits too, gained 0.5 share of $$. Those 3 brands up 2 share.  Interesting that 2 of top 10 growth brands, Busch Light and Miller High Life, are subpremiums. That’s 3 if…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 25
Just-released Harris Poll asked different questions than annual summer Gallup Poll of American drinking habits.  So the numbers come in a bit different.  Still, beer beat wine and spirits when Harris asked drinkers: “if you had to choose just one, what is your current beverage of choice?”  Beer got nod from 38% of drinkers, vs 31% for wine, 28% for liquor.  (Recall, beer scored over 40% as bev consumed “most often” in last 3 Gallup Polls.)  Similar disconnect tho with volume as shipments show beer still near half of all alcohol consumed vs 35% for spirits, 16% of wine.  Beer is bev of choice for all age groups up to 65+.  At that point both wine and liquor surpass beer in popularity.  Beer still much more popular among men (55% say it’s their bev of choice) vs women (just 21%).  Wine more than twice as popular among women (46%) than beer and 30% of women choose spirits as bev of choice almost a 10-pt lead over beer. Continuing gender gap remains key obstacle to building beer per caps. Among beer drinkers, 38% say domestic non-craft beer is their favorite style.  Interestingly, 29% say they favor craft, 23% imports; 6% say…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 24
In a one-time only appearance, AB bringing back 1980s spokesdog Spuds Mackenzie, “the original party Animal.”  But this time Spuds is a Ghost in a full 90-second Super Bowl spot.  Super Bowl ads sell for $5 mil per 30 seconds, or $15 mil if AB paid full price.  So this ad is a Big Bet.  It will be next installment of Bud Light’s new “Famous Among Friends,” intended as multi-yr “platform” and “not a campaign,” said  Bud Light veep Alex Lambrecht.  Spuds will “make a statement” that is “relevant to the cultural moment,” Alex continued; it will be “all about friendship.”  But after the Super Bowl, Spuds “will return to the after life” tho not before a “final message” on Monday after the game. Bud Light down 2.3% last 4 weeks thru 1/21 in Nielsen all-outlet, a bit better than 3% drop in calendar 2016. It lost 0.4 share of volume in latest period, compared to 0.7 in full yr 2016.    Talk Value; Bud in “Crosshairs of the Next Drumpf Tweet?”; “Beer Should Be Bipartisan,” Sez AB’s Marcel  Like Bud’s immigrant spot, this Bud Light ad should have lotsa talk value.  But will it sell beer?  About 70% of…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 22
Top 25 growth brands in US beer biz (by $$) totally dominated by hi-end,  with 10 imports and 8 flavored brands as consultant Bump Williams noted in his monthly update.   Each of top 8 and 21 of top 25 are hi-end.  Top 2 growth brands, Mich Ultra and Modelo Especial, each up around 25% and gained a half bil in $$ sales between ‘em.  Wow!  Corona the only other brand that gained more than $100 mil in $$ sales; up $150 mil, 9.7%.  Notable that total beer biz gained $916 mil, 2.7%.  So those 3 brands grew over 70% of what total industry gained.  Ten of top 25 growth brands were imports; Stella at #5, up 15%.  But 8 of those 10 imports were Mexican imports, including 5 from Constellation.  Modelo Especial Chelada at #11 (up 34%), Corona Light at #13 (up 8.2%) and Pacifico #23 (up 20%).  Also on list, Dos Equis Lager at #12, Tecate Light #19 (up 28%).  Heineken $$ sales up $15.6 mil, 2% in IRI, about same $$ as Pacifico (+20%), good enuf to be #22 on list.    Hard-to-cycle FMB category got 5 of top 10 gainers, 8 of top 25: Henry’s Hard Soda was…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 21
Issue of 20% tariff on Mexican goods blew up big time late afternoon yesterday when it was floated by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  “We can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone,” he said.  But hours later, he walked back the proposal as just one of the “options” under consideration.  Still, couldn’t have been good for Constellation folks to see headlines like the NY Post’s frontpager this morning: “Corona to Pay for the Wall.” Constellation Brands Beer Division “is caught in a whipsaw between Trump, conservatives in Congress and now the border wall politics,” said a source.   But it’s already apparent that idea of taxing Mexican goods will meet lotsa resistance, even from Republicans, as Wash Post showed. Three Republican Senators objected right away.  “Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big time bad idea,” SC’s Lindsey Graham tweeted.  Earlier he said: “Border security yes, tariffs no.”  Senator Sasse (NE) said: “Tariffs are a tax on American families.”  And Senator McCain said he’s “deeply concerned.”  Even #2 Repub in Senate, John Cornyn of TX, tweeted: “Many unanswered questions about proposed…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 18
Where there’s a will there’s a way.  Turns out AB not only has exclusive for beer ads on Super Bowl broadcast, it has exclusive for all alc bevs.  Liquor’s not an issue since NFL still bans it.  And wine “has not been aggressive on TV,” as Ad Age wrote earlier this week.  But there’s loophole for purchasing time on local stations, as MC exploited with Redd’s ads in some mkts a few yrs ago.  Turns out Yellow Tail, most popular Australian wine, really wanted to be on Super Bowl this yr.  It decided to go hard for local mkts, Ad Age and USA Today report, especially after AB failed to execute option it has for “right of first refusal with Fox-owned-and-operated local stations” back in Aug.  Yellow Tail snapped up enough local buys, including biggest metro mkts, to put its ad before 85% of Super Bowl audience.  And spent more than a natl ad would have cost, it sez.    Turns out too that not only will Yellow Tail reach so many viewers, but will do it with traditional beer- and specifically Bud Light-type messages.  “We think that if we can bring the message that wine can be fun and…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 17
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