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Beer volume down 3.9% for 4 weeks thru December 31st in Nielsen all outlet data.  So beer closed out yr with one of softest 4-week periods of yr, right thru 2 major holidays.  Not a good way to end, tho holidays “misaligned” once again, notes Nielsen, as last yr’s 4 week period ended on Saturday, January 2.  Pricing under pressure as total avg beer prices up just 23 cents, 1%.  Avg prices lower for FMBs, economy and malt liquor segments.  There’s just not a lot of good news in latest report.  Trading up cut virtually in half.  Above premium segments declined in volume and $$ sales.  Still gained share but just 1.2 share of $$ for 4 weeks, compared to 2.2 YTD.   Craft volume down 2% for 4 weeks and imports up just 1.6%.  Several leading imports actually declined last 4 weeks.  Corona down 1%, Heineken down 3%, Dos Equis down 3%.  Even growth rates for hottest brands slowed substanitially.  Mich Ultra still up 14% for 4 weeks, but 22.2% for full yr.  Modelo Especial up 15% for 4 weeks, 23.5% for full yr.  Both gained slightly less share short-term too.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 10
After relatively successful launches, both MC and AB hard soda lines may well face tuff road ahead.  MC’s Henry’s Hard Soda sold almost 2.3 mil cases, ringing up $81.1 mil in $$ sales in IRI multi-outlet + convenience for full yr thru Dec 25.  More than 2/3 of that in original Orange flavor ($55.4 mil), but Henry’s added almost $21 mil in Ginger Ale, $3.9 mil in Cherry and $875K in Variety Pk variants.  Collectively, these brands added 1%, virtually all incremental, to MC’s $7.85 bil in $$ sales in IRI MULC.  And 0.6% of volume.  But this yr, it has to cycle those numbers.  And if past is prologue, that ain’t gonna be pretty.  Already, Henry’s Hard Soda brands are demonstrating significant seasonality, as they sold 365,000 cases last 12 weeks, far less than ¼ of yr’s total.  Can Henry’s avoid the boom/splat syndrome? Meanwhile, AB’s Best Damn Root Beer sold 1.7 mil cases, $66.5 mil thru Dec 25.  Similarly, over 2/3 of that’s from Root Beer variant while Cherry Cola ($20.8 mil) and Apple Ale ($2.2 mil) make up the rest.  But collectively, Best Damn family’s a much smaller % of total co sales relative to MC; just…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 5
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