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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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Interesting brief conference call with North American Breweries ceo Rich Lozyniak this morn acknowledged that NAB parent KPS has had “very preliminary” discussions with “a small group of investors” who are potential acquirers but there’s nothing imminent, said 2 distrib sources. So very “hard to speculate,” according to Rich, who asked distribs to be “patient” over next couple of mos. In the event of “change of control,” mgt has a stake in co and is commited to staying, according to Rich, and would move forward “with our distributor partners” who he also described as part of value proposition in any potential deal. Meanwhile, NAB biz up 6%, he said, and Seagram Coolers up 48%. “See you in January” at NAB’s natl sales convention, concluded Rich. Unstated, but KPS asking price may just be too high as several private equity firms and Pabst have reportedly passed.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 99
After months and months of rumblings, talk that North American Breweries “put up for sale” by owner KPS Capital Partners, hit Reuters wire this afternoon “according to sources familiar with this matter.” The co “could be worth $400 million” said Reuters. UBS is advising on sale. KPS and UBS declined to comment. Recall, NAB entered scene in early 09 buying Genesee and Labatt brands in quick succession. Many reports of Japanese execs around various NAB breweries earlier this yr and again more recently, with the name Sapporo frequently mentioned. At NAB’s sales meeting in Jan ceo Rich Lozyniak had noted: “We’re doing very well,” “making a lot more money” and not doing it by cutting marketing, training, brewery expenses, etc. KPS is continuing to invest “and very, very happy” with its investment, assured Rich. “That being said, there will be an exit someday for KPS.” This is a “question people are starting to ask. Now people are getting a little nervous.” But Rich added: “If we focus on good things, we’re going to have a great outcome.” Whether it’s strategic buyer or even an IPO, a buyer will “want our brands, our relationships with you.” KPS is “not in a…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 98
Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn and CFO Gavin Hattersley mostly focused on acquisition in central/eastern Europe in presentation to Barclays Back to School Confrerence this morn. But a few points about US. Asked about new Lite ad campaign and brand health, Peter said brand has made “steady progress” tho “not spectacular.” Male bonding positioning provides “reference point” for Lite, and tho still “a work in progress,” Lite on “workable” platform to create new iterations. Noted “hugely positive” response to campaign from distribs back in Mar that led to “real lift” in sales volume, tho not so strong a depletions pop. Peter also pointed out that measured by volume share change, both Coors Light and Lite have outperformed total premium light segment in every Nielsen all-channel 4-week period since Memorial Day 2011. Coors Light mostly gained share; Lite lost less than the category. He also signaled “significant acceleration” in mktg, gen & admin spending coming in US, “primarily” in Q4. Regarding consumer behavior, Molson Coors still sees “bifurcation,” with consumers willing to spend up for crafts and to experiment, while there are still pressures (unemployment, etc) that are forcing consumers down. That said, moving consumers from subpremiums up to premiums has…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 98
Best news in beer in recent yrs has gotta be continued health of high end; crafts, imports, superpremiums etc. INSIGHTS’ High-end conference in Chi yesterday analyzed angles galore, from some of biggest players in the segment to up-and-comers, who laid out state of the mkt, challenges and key oppys. Here are some quick highlights/comments to give you a flavor. Lotsa talk throughout day about “building brands, not just moving cases,” as Crown prexy Bill Hackett put it during high-powered panel hosted by consultant Bump Williams. Bill attributed Crown’s outperformance in recent yrs to building brands across portfolio, “not standing on one leg.” HUSA’s prexy Dolf van den Brink made similar point, attributing recent strength to renewed focus on people in the organization and brands, which were “under-resourced” and needed more “firepower,” plus on-premise push. Lotsa talk too about “innovation,” but Dolf stressed need for the “right” innovation -- i.e. specific brands aimed at specific demographics, like HUSA’s Indio -- not just slew of new brands/packages. Building brands and “adding value” also central to “philosophy” of Atlas Distrib, said prexy Joe Salois. Several key retail insights from HEB’s beer biz development mgr Rusty Woodland. His store focuses not on sales but…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 57
Interesting that Wall St Jnl headlined cautious comments from SABMiller that there would be “no more than modest improvements in consumer spending in some more developed economies” like US and Europe. While SAB’s global beer volume up 3% for fiscal yr thru Mar 31, US down 3% and Europe down 1%. SABMiller volume up 8% in Latin America and 13% in Africa. Total global SABMiller revs jumped 11% to $31.4 bil, while EBITA up 8% organically to $5.6 bil. Adjusted EBITDA up 10% to $6.2 bil with a 23% margin. That’s about 40% of ABI global EBITDA. Despite “mature” mkt comment, SABMiller ceo Graham Mackay sounded surprisingly upbeat about MillerCoors overall. Big mainstream brands “going through harder times right now with the recovery from the financial crisis than we will see and have seen on average. So I think there is some recovery to be expected.” There is “momentum” behind Coors Light aluminum can and Miller Time and Miller 64 efforts “well-received. So we are making great efforts and I think many of those are looking positive,” he said. MC also “investing” in above-premium thru Tenth and Blake, he said, citing several new brands/acquisitions. “So nobody could accuse us of…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 59
Even tho Bud Light volume declined in 2011, Bud Light’s brand value grew 17% to $8.36 bil in latest brand valuation rankings done by research co Millward Brown. MB ranks top 100 most valuable brands in world, but this yr also did section on top 10 beer brands as part of 104-pg report. Overall Budweiser name (including both Bud and Bud Light) was the #48 most valuable brand, said Millward Brown, at $15.9 bil. Compare to Coke at $74.2 bil (#6) or Apple (#1) at $183 bil. MB gets to its valuation # by measuring a brands’ $$ earnings, projecting its future earnings and factoring “the quality of the brand in the mind of the consumer.” Of beer’s top 10 most valuable brands, ABI controls 6, according to this study. Number 2 on list is Bud, which slipped 15% to $7.5 bil (even tho it grew worldwide); #5 Skol, up 3% to $4.7 bil; #6 Stella Artois which held even at $4.5 bil; #8 Brahma, up 18% to $2.35 bil and #10 Beck’s, down 20% to $1.5 bil. Miller Lite was ranked #9, down 9% to 2.3 bil and Coors Light did not crack top-10 (gotta be something wrong with…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 14
  • Issue # 60