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They?ll try ?em but they don?t really care for ?em much, sez very interesting new research from Morgan Stanley?s Bill Pecoriello. Morgan Stanley conducted focus groups of NYC guys 21-25 who drank imports or drank light beers and a 3d group of guys who tended bar in NYC. ?The perception that malternatives are inferior to real spirits, [their] feminine image, low ?drinkability, ?flash in the pan? stigma? all are factors that undermine repeats among the guys we talked to,? wrote Bill. Tho ?strength of the spirits' brands, distinctive packaging and media investment? will generate trial, even trial get-ting dicier now because of ?the ?me-too? halo, the lack of real spirits, feminine image and bartenders? ?not-at-my-bar? attitude.? In an earlier survey of 1300 consumers, 5% of beer users were ?adopters? of malternatives (meaning they would use 'em at least occasionally) and 60% of those were female. To meet very aggressive growth targets, sez Bill, malternatives will need more young male adopters.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 17
An emerging theme: more folks are sayin? there?s opportunity for smaller all-other distribs because big consolidated distrib can?t effectively handle all suppliers? brands. ?We are beginning to see a re-energizing of the ?all other? third wholesaler in the market,? Calif consultant Roger Han-ney recently wrote. ?Without question,? he added, ?it is difficult (if not impossible) for a mega-brand whole-saler to devote time and attention to brands?good brands?that don?t generate significant sales. They are lost in the shuffle.? So all-others guys with ?vision and?acumen are now licking their chops at the prospects of snagging some of the good brands that will inevitably become available.? In fact, some big guys ?smartly set up an ?all other? house as a competitive hedge against the loss of key brands years ago.? Finally, ?at least one forward-thinking mega wholesaler is now considering the same.? Who dat?

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 18
Joint Committee of the States, which represents regulators from control states and open states, ?unanimously voted to indicate its support for the direction? BATF is taking to "correctly" reclassify malternatives. Aug 6 letter to BATF noted that ?because of the high volume of alcohol-based flavors in the flavored malt beverages, some states will be forced to either change their statutes or change the current taxation and distribution policies and treat these products as spirits.? Urged BATF to move ?as quickly as possible.? JCS also supports ?mandatory alcohol content labeling? for all malt bevs.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 42
Remember 1st Maris lawsuit, Fed Court trial that largely revolved around whether AB?s ban of public ownership in equity agreement was antitrust violation. Back in Sep 2000, District Court jury upheld AB view that it?s not anti-competitive. Maris appealed (and won its state lawsuit on different issues in interim). US Appeals Court just ruled District Court did not err by granting "directed verdict" in favor of AB on question of whether it had mkt power. Reason: relevant mkt for analysis is ownership of beer distribs: AB share in that mkt less than 3%. Maris tried to argue that AB?s 48 share of beer mkt should be included. But judges ruled: ?Maris has not identified a valid economic reason why Anheuser Busch?s alleged market power in the beer market should create market power in the different market for the purchase and sale of equity ownership in beer distributorships.? As for state trial, 1 yr later, ?Marises haven?t collected a nickel,? said Maris atty Madison McCellan in early Aug. Could be 6 mos or more before state ase ?works its way through the appellate courts? wrote Gainesville Sun.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 43
Imports alone have 24 share in 11-county area in southern Calif, including San Diego and LA, according to IRI data. Micros and malternatives at 3 share each. Interestingly, avg prices up 17 cents, 1% to $17.74/case but price increase is all from trading up. In fact, among top-10 brands, 8 sold at lower prices on avg YTD (30-90 cents/case), as scanbacks, other price discounts in widespread effect. YTD thru Jul 14, AB had 34.6 share (-0.6), Miller had 18 share (-1.3), Coors even at 14.7. Barton had 11.2 share, up 0.3. Biggest gainers: Tecate (a 4 share brand in this data) and Heineken each up about 25% with 80-90 cent per case price reductions.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 44
Volume in c-stores up 2.8% for 24 weeks thru Jun 8, according to ACNielsen. Dollar sales up 6.1%. So avg price up about 50 cents per case-equivalent, 3.2% to $16.62. Light beer volume up 5.6% YTD, but regular beer (including imports) down nearly 2%. Malternatives rockin?: volume jumped 85%, $$ sales nearly doubled. Still just 2 share of volume, but grabbed 3.4 share of $$ YTD. Avg price per case of malternatives in c-stores: just below $29, compared to $16.40 for beer.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 32
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