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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.

In each INSIGHTS Express, you'll find breaking news balanced with other info you just won't see elsewhere.International news.Articles about smaller brewers.Trends in other industries that bear on the US beer biz. Alcohol policy issues. Statistical snapshots. And much, much more.

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It’s not all bad news for the hard cider biz in 2016.  While category declined and several established brands that make up vast majority of the category struggled, several smaller cos saw exceptional growth.  Bold Rock is a prime example.  It grew 70% to 45K bbls, emerging as the 6th largest hard cider co in IRI data and the “nation’s largest independently owned craft cidery,” co announced.  That’s right in line with co’s expectations outlined just a couple mos ago in our sister pub, CBN, after speaking with sr veep of sales and mktg Jeff Liebhardt, who previously worked for E & J Gallo Winery and Boston Beer (see CBN vol 7, #94).  Indeed, Bold Rock quickly shot up after opening in 2012.  It’s currently in 9 states and already opened a 2d production facility in Mills River, NC, bringing total production capacity to 150K bbls/yr with room to grow.  Yet nearly 2/3 of its sales are in home state, VA, Jeff shared. In fact, in VA Bold Rock was #2 cider with 35 share of segment as recently as Sep 2016.  Only behind Boston’s Angry Orchard at 45 share with sales down 13% thru Sep.  Bold Rock expects to…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 1
  • Issue # 4
Major brewers’ stocks, both in US and globally, did not shine in 2016 like they did in 2015 and 2014.  Constellation grew 7.6% last year following gains of 45% and 39.5% previous 2 yrs.  And don’t forget STZ shares doubled in 2013.  Molson Coors slowed to 3.6% gain in 2016 following gains of 26% and 33% previous 2 yrs.  Anheuser-Busch InBev shares fell 15.6% in US in 2016 on NYSE and down 12% (in euros) on Brussels exchange.  Following 30% decline in 2015, Boston Beer shares fell another 16% in 2016.  Much smaller Craft Brew Alliance rebounded nicely as shares doubled to $16.90 in 2016 following double-digit declines previous 2 yrs. Heineken momentum of past several years halted in 2016 with 16% stock drop.  Heineken had gained 33.6%, 20% and 18.4% prior 3 years.  Diageo posted its best performance in several yrs as stock gained 13.7% in 2016.  Major soft drink co’s, often mentioned as possible targets of ABI, underperformed in 2016 compared to Dow Jones Avg (+13.4%) and S&P 500 (+9.5%).  Coca-Cola stock price dipped 3.5% last year following gains of around 2% in both 2015 and 2014.  In first full calendar year with Coca-Cola bottlers, Monster Energy stock…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 1
Shift by public health advocates and some govt officials back to themes that “all drinking is risky” and there’s “no safe level” of consumption started early in 2016, as we documented in our sister publication Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS.  Themes popped again late in year, most prominently in lengthy Washington Post article Christmas Eve, and picked up elsewhere.  WashPo’s headline for print edition: “Wine, Women and Danger.”  It joined several other articles on theme that women are drinking more, and more dangerously, than in past.  Also included link to: “Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death.”  Post added specific criticism of ads/mktg, mostly run on targeted social media, which promote and/or make light of women drinking heavily. Interestingly, WashPo not only headlined wine, but tagged two wine brands as culprits: Mommy’s Time Out and Mad Housewife.  Wine usually gets a pass. Industry spokespeople defend ad codes, but one researcher claims that system “broken” and “dozens of studies have found lapses in their record of enforcing the rules,” Post sez.  “As a result, an international group of public health experts convened by the World Health Organization’s regional office in Washington, DC plans to call in January for…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 18
  • Issue # 229
Word leaked late last week that Yuengling will head to the Hoosier state in 2017. MC’s largest distrib Monarch will cover most of the state, with Indiana Bev getting the rest.  Recall, just 2 MC distribs in Ind compete against about 20 smaller AB distribs.  If Yuengling were to get 3 share of state shipments for the yr, Indiana would provide Yuengling with an incremental 100,000 bbls next yr, undoubtedly coming mostly out of AB and MC’s hides.  After going with AB network in MS, Yuengling went with MillerCoors megadistribs in LA and IN, Crescent Crown in LA, Monarch and Indiana Bev in IN.  In 1 LA  mkt, Shreveport, AB distrib got Yuengling, but in IN, it’s reportedly all MC.  About 4-5% of US beer volume sold in MS, LA and IN, the 3 mkts where Yuengling announced intros in last yr or so.  And AB and MC have significantly higher shares than their natl averages in these states. In IN, AB at 46 share and MC at 37 in 2015.  AB and MC combined only lost 4 share between ’em there since 2008 (compared to 10 or more in many other states).  Nationally, Yuengling trending much better in scan…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 18
  • Issue # 228
Turns out that 2016 shaping up a lot like 2015 vis a vis beer vs spirits trends, two data sources show again today.  Control state liquor volume bounced back from soft Oct with volume up 5.1% in Nov, reports NABCA.  Dollar sales jumped 7.4% in Nov in control states.  Recall, beer had better Nov too, but not that good.  Off-premise volume up 2.7% in IRI MULC for Nov and dollars up 4.1%.  Meanwhile, for 52 weeks thru Nov, control state volume up 2.8% and $$ up 5.2%.  Beer volume +0.8%, $$ up 3.2% same period in IRI MULC.  But while beer gained off-premise, it continued to dip on-premise, according to Nielsen.  Indeed, Nielsen comparison of 12-mo running trends thru Oct 8 show spirits up in both channels, volume +1.8% on-premise, +3.1% off premise. That’s while Nielsen reports beer volume -3.1% on-premise same period, up just 0.6% off- premise, (very close to IRI MULC for 12 mos thru Nov).  Beer $$ sales also down on-premise (-1.5%) for 12 mos thru early Oct, Nielsen showed, while spirits $$ up 3.4%.  Wine trends not as strong as spirits, but also outperforming beer in both channels. Net-net: beer lost share to spirits and wine…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 18
  • Issue # 226
Following  4-straight 4-wk periods when beer volume up 2-3% in Nielsen all-outlet + convenience scans, from Nov 12 thru Dec 3, volume flat for 4 wks thru Dec 10.  And 0.1 shaved off yr-to-date pace to +0.6%.  Import and superpremium segments maintained 7-8% gain paces in most recent period.  But craft trend slipped back below +1%, FMBs down 1% and premium trends really softened.  AB and MC trends softer for 4 wks than YTD.  So were Boston, HUSA and Diageo Beer (each down).  Pabst and NAB did better for 4 wks than YTD (both up).   Constellation truckin’ along at +15% and Mike’s up double-digits in most recent period.  “Remaining domestic brewer” trend, pretty good proxy for craft ex-Boston, up just 1.8% for 4 wks, +7.5% YTD.  No major brand trend shifts, tho each of top 4 brands softer for 4 wks than YTD and Coors Light still only gainer among ’em so far, eking out 0.5% gain thru Dec 10.  Interestingly, 5 of next 6 brands up for 4 wks: Corona, Busch Light, Modelo Especial, Michelob Ultra and Busch; and each of those except Busch up yr-to-date.  Natty Light down for 4 wks and YTD.  These sluggish near-term numbers fit…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 18
  • Issue # 225