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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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Consumer price index for beer increased 1.7% in Jan vs yr ago, per latest govt stats.  That’s in-line with increases over past few months, but beer CPI well behind +2.5% growth for all items in Jan, which had strongest monthly gain since Feb 2013.  CPI for beer lagged increases for all items in 3 of last 4 months.  But beer prices still runnin’ ahead of spirits/wine.  CPI for spirits edged up just 0.3% in Jan vs yr ago while wine prices slipped 0.5%.  Over last 12 mos thru Jan, CPI for beer was up 1.8% vs 1.4% gain for all items and was well ahead of spirits (+0.4%) and wine (-0.1%) pricing trends.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 31
Heineken has deal to significantly expand its Brazil footprint and be stronger competitor to AB InBev in world’s 3d largest beer mkt, about 118 mil bbls in 2015, it announced today.  Heineken will buy Kirin’s Brazil biz for approx $704 mil; with debt, price edges up over $1 bil.  It picks up 12 breweries and about 9 share, adding to 5 breweries and 10 share Heineken already has from FEMSA biz it bought in 2010.  AB InBev still has about 70 share in Brazil.  The company (Brasil Kirin) reported operating loss in 2016 and Kirin paid whopping $3.9 bil for it back in 2011.  Deal never worked out for Kirin, to put it mildly.  It took $1 bil impairment charge in 2015 as overall mkt went soft last few years.  “There are certain limitations to transforming Brasil Kirin into a sustainable and highly profitable business on its own,” Kirin said in statement. “None of the normal ratios work because it’s loss-making, but it’s a very attractive price,” understated Bernstein’s Trevor Stirling.   Tho it still significantly trails ABI in share, Heineken likes long-term prospects for overall biz and premium growth in Brazil. Among the “compelling strategic benefits” of deal, Heineken…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 28
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