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Lotsa news on ABI’s global Bud ambitions yesterday. ABI tapped DDB as its “lead global ad agency” for Bud brand, wrote Ad Age. DDB has had Bud account since mid-90s. ABI is thinking about Coke as a model, Frank Abanante, ABI’s global veep of brands and innovation told Ad Age. “We want the brand to stand for one thing everywhere,” tho ABI hasn’t yet decided what that one thing will be (for Coke it’s “happiness”). Even tho Bud in 80 countries, Bud “is scarce in large swaths of the globe such as Africa,” Ad Age wrote. Note: Bud brand down for over 20 yrs in US and its volume less than half 50-mil-bbl peak. Recently US drops have gotten steeper. But it’s growing strong in China and its global potential is part of what InBev paid $52 bil to get. ABI also named Jason Warner as global Bud veep, reported St Lou Post Distpatch. Jason comes to ABI from Nestle, where he was most recently global mktg director for bevs. Before that, he spent 5 yrs in Atlanta working on somewhat strained Coke/ Nestle relationship, including Enviga brand (see our Beverage Business INSIGHTS for more details). Interesting that global Bud…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 82
But  Independent survey provides yet more evidence that Memorial Day pricing stayed healthy for beer.  Memorial Day pricing for premium beer “trended higher relative to Easter, painting a picture of rational pricing,” wrote Consumer Edge Research’s Bill Pecoriello May 21 following its retailer price survey of 22 chains.  But Corona prices at a 4% discount to Heineken, “consistent” with Constellation comments “that they were going to increase promotions. We have yet to see a sustainable uptick in volume trends,” added Bill.  Subpremiums also “discounted more” over Memorial Day in this survey.  But AB “is not seeing rampant tradedown,” prexy Dave Peacock told Bev Forum last week. Still increased tradedown has gotta be a concern, at least in some areas.  For example, “Long Islanders turn to less expensive brands of alcohol” headlined NY’s Newsday over Memorial Day Weekend.  Busch, Natural Light and Busch Ice “are up double-digits in sales for us,” said AB distrib Clare Rose sr veep Ken Mayer.  INSIGHTS has heard of numerous other areas where subpremiums growing rapidly.   

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 50
“I don’t see a sophomore slump for this brand,” AB prexy Dave Peacock said during wide-ranging interview at Bev Forum (hosted by Bev World and Bev Mktg).  Last yr BLL sold “twice as much as anticipated.”  Real question is “how high is up?”  Bud Light Lime  also “more seasonal than we even thought” and beginning to “ramp up” again now, especially with can intro.  So far, running “above our expectations”  in 09 too.   More on Dave’s comments in Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS.  

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 49
Had been heading this way, but now it’s official: Draft FCB is agency-of-record for both Miller Lite and Coors Light. Draft FCB, the longterm agency for Coors Light, had worked closely with MillerCoors cmo Andy England and co during Coors Light’s ongoing 14-qtr “cold refreshment” run. More recently, Draft FCB had begun to get involved in Miller Lite work in late 08 and produced best- received Lite spots at MC convention this yr. Makes some sense that same agency would have best shot at successfully differentiating each brand. But challenge of turning around Miller Lite remains huge. Down 7.5% in 4th qtr and down 7% so far in 09 scanner data. Draft FCB will be Miller Lite’s 4th agency in 5 yrs. Several Miller trademarks now consolidated at Saatchi, which picked up MGD and MGD 64 to go along with High Life.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 35
Dutch volume down 5.6%, FEMSA volume +8.3%, Heineken reported today. That’s just below 6.2 mil bbls for Dutch, about 2.625 mil bbls for FEMSA, down 165,000 bbls, 2% all in, a little lower than BMI’s original estimate. Recall tho, HUSA started sellin’ Newcastle Brown Ale in Sep 08. Including that volume, HUSA probably up slightly. Dutch brand depletion trend slightly better: -4.9% with Heineken off 4.8%, Amstel -11% and Heineken Premium Light “only slightly lower.” FEMSA depletions +7.9%. Tecate and Dos Equis “grew significantly despite a price increase of 4%” in Oct 08. Heineken did better in Canada and Caribbean, plus it picked up Newcastle: so Americas total volume +4.1% for the yr. But US dropoff and “negative currency developments” drove Americas revs down 2.6%, and knocked EBIT back 10%. Overall, Heineken total volume up 3.5-3.6%, (it counts volume two ways) and Heineken brand premium volume internationally up almost 5%. Earnings before interest, taxes and special items rose 8.7%, and organic net profit up 11%. But new UK biz very soft, and reductions in value of bizzes in Russia and India, plus finance costs for Heineken’s purchase of part of S&N took toll on reported EBIT (-24%) and net profit…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 19
Annual Scarborough Research surveys show about 42-43% of adults are beer drinkers, little change over last few years.  Latest survey for 2007-2008 shows again slightly higher % drink in top 10 metros.  Among these mkts, beer most popular in Boston and Chicago (47.2%, 47.4%) least popular in Atlanta (38.5%).  As import sales softened during this period, they lost some popularity in these mkts.  Slightly below 27% of adults in these mkts said they drink imports, down slightly from previous survey.  Still, imports a bit more popular than domestic light beers (25.6%) and domestic regular beer (21.4%) in these mkts.  (Scarborough does not reflect volume, just brands/styles people say they drank, and could be more than one.)  Over 30% of adults in Los Angeles and San Fran drink imports, near 30% in NYC.  That drops to 20% in Houston and Dallas.  About 4% say they drink “microbrews” in these mkts.  But brands like Sam Adams, Shiner and Sierra Nevada score higher than that in individual mkts, so some consumers may no longer consider those brands “micros.”  Top brands (in popularity) stayed the same in latest survey.  Corona held on as #1 brand in NY, LA, San Fran and Washington DC.  Bud…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 18