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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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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…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 157
Just today we heard again that Jul tailed off for a number of distribs.  And then Nielsen data came in.  Down 1.2% for 4 weeks thru Aug 5, worse than the yr-to-date trend.  Each of AB and MC off over 3% for 4 weeks. Down 3.3% and 3.1% respectively. AB down 2.5% and MC down 2.3% YTD.  But AB lost slightly less share of volume for 4 weeks (0.9) than it has yr-to-date (1.0), while MC lost the same 0.4 and Constellation gained a little less. Constellation gained 0.9 share for 4 weeks, 1 full point YTD.  Constellation volume “only” up 8.8% for weeks, compared to 11.8% gain YTD.  HUSA down 3.7% in soft 4 week period that steepened YTD decline to almost 2%.  Only Mike’s (up 16%) and Boston (-0.9%) did better for 4 weeks than YTD.  Sudden success of seltzers in both cases drove the improvement.  Each of White Claw and Truly Spiked and Sparkling is a top 10 growth brand in Nielsen all outlet at 0.1 share.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 154
While we’ve noted growing “skepticism” among some in public health and govt about benefits of moderate drinking, a trio of new studies supports the links.  First, a study of 70K UK adults found that compared with those who drank less than 1 day per week, drinking 3-4 days/week “was associated with significantly lower risk of diabetes.”  Men who drank regularly had a 27% lower diabetes risk, women had a 32% lower risk.  Daily drinkers also had lower diabetes risks than infrequent drinkers, as well as lifelong abstainers.  In terms of amount, “the lowest risk of diabetes was observed at 14 drinks/week in men and 9 drinks/week in women.” A second study linked moderate and heavy drinkers with cognitively healthy longevity, or “living to age 85 without cognitive impairment.”  Indeed, relative to nondrinkers, moderate and heavy drinking (up to 3 drinks/day for women and men 65 years and older, up to 4 drinks/day for men under 65 years) had significantly higher adjusted odds of survival to age 85 without cognitive impairment.”  These moderate to heavy drinkers, as well as “nearly daily drinkers” were 2-3X more likely than nondrinkers to live to “at least 85 without cognitive impairment.” A third study found…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 150
“Now, It’s Natty Time.”  That’s tagline of new Natural Light ad that broke yesterday and will run on cable channels including ESPN, TBS, Comedy Central, etc, AB sez. It’s first Natty Light tv ad since 2009’s “Natty Caddy.”  Also follows on heels of Natty FMB extension announced last week, Natty Rush.  Ad pokes back at MC claims of less calories/carbs by noting Natty Light has “a whole one fewer calorie” (at 95) so drinker can “go ahead treat yourself” with “extra stick of gum.”   Recall too, Natty recently hooked up with model Marisa Miller who’s “name might be Miller” but who “prefers to act Natural.”  So #1 subpremium, which lost almost 1/3 of its volume 2010-2016, takin’ triple aim at higher-priced competitor, borrowing from “Miller Time” theme, calorie comparison and supermodel’s name.  And folks say beer ads lack creativity these days.   Natty Light off just 0.2% in Nielsen scans in Jul, -1.7% yr-to-date.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 148
We keep expecting solid pop in import shipments given 6-7% gains in scan data.  It keeps not happening.  Import shipments edged up just 17K bbls, 0.5% in Jun, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich based on Commerce Dept data.  Mexican shipments trend improved slightly, but only very slightly: up 2.7% in Jun.  That’s far better than 5.2% drop in Dutch shipments, 8.5% decline in Canadian shipments and big fall in Belgian shipments.  Belgian decline offset by big German gain, again suggesting lotsa Stella being shipped thru Germany.  For 6 mos, imports up an anemic 41K bbls, 0.2%.  Mexican shipments up just 54K bbls, 0.5%, way behind Constellation’s trend.  That suggests possibility of reporting/inventory issues.  Dutch shipments off 39K bbls, 1.6% for 6 mos.  Canadian shipments down 34K bbls, 4.6%.  Irish and UK shipments down 4% and 19% respectively.   While reported Belgian shipments down 223K bbls, 24%, that’s more than offset by 257K-bbl, 85% increase from Germany.  With imports so soft in Q2 (-2%) and flat for 6 mos, suggests total US shipments off about 1.4 mil bbls, 1.3% Jan-Jun.  We’ll have details in next week’s BMI.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 148
Always somethin’ fun to spot in scan data.  What stood out this week: 4 of top 10 growth brands in latest 4-wk period thru 7/22 in Nielsen grocery store data are clear, non-beer bevs: Zima Citrus (MC), Truly Spiked & Sparkling (Boston), White Claw Hard Seltzer (Mike’s) and Spiked Seltzer (AB).  You’d be hard pressed to find even a hint of barley or hops in any of these products, not to mention a dash of color.  And yet, 3 of those brands got 0.2-0.3 share of volume and/or $$ for this period.  Meanwhile, hard sodas continue to tank, typical of FMB churn. Will seltzers and return of Zima have more staying power than sodas?  Here’s what Boston CEO Martin Roper had to say about hard seltzer category on Boston Beer’s conference call last week.  “I think the category is still emerging and is still sort of developing. And I think an important point is that retailers did not support the category as aggressively as they supported the hard soda category…. And so the category is evolving a little slower, but certainly, initially, potentially with maybe better longevity. So we don't really know what the ultimate size of the category is.”…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 146
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