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Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS

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Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, our flagship newsletter, is published 23X a year. For the last 38 years, it has frequently been the first and often only publication to report the most important beer industry facts, trends, and insights. Each issue features four info-packed pages. Inside, you'll find the latest news and numbers about the US beer business, with a special focus on exclusive articles and analysis. Readers of Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS get the info necessary to stay abreast of the latest industry events, and the understanding of those events. Here's just a small sampling of what you'll find inside:

Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS is written by the most experienced and knowledgeable staff serving the industry. More execs keep up-to-date by reading Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS than any other beer industry publication.

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A “both/and” consensus emerged from this yr’s NBWA-sponsored Center for Alcohol Policy conference.  By and large, govt officials and industry reps agreed 3 tier system “works” to effectively regulate alc bev biz and provide choice.  That’s even while system faces constant, numerous challenges.  Kans Atty Gen Derek Schmidt said flat out “the 3 tier system works.  That’s why no one has heard of it.”  While alcohol policy debates raged across US both pre- and post-Prohibition, that’s no longer the case, he said.  “Absence of controversy now,” outside of industry circles of course, “suggests it works and is supported” by public.  Indeed, NBWA-funded polling shows vast support for current system across geographic/gender/political lines.  Then too, Anoop Bhasin, genl counsel of WVA’s alc bev control admin, also embraced historical “success of 3-tier system,” despite challenges. Panel Anoop spoke on took up perhaps most serious current challenge to 3-tier: “the changing retail landscape and alcohol regulation.”  Talk turned to cross-tier ownerships and blurring of lines between tiers.  Summing up that topic, Drizly’s genl counsel Nidhi Kumar called it “a hot mess.”  And that’s while Drizly’s considered a chief “disrupter,” even tho it does not sell/deliver alc bevs, but facilitates sales.  In fact, Nidhi…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 17
Beer biz ain’t so hot in summer ’17.  Despite very easy comp in Jul (down mid-singles in Jul 2016), domestic brewers’ taxpaid shipments down 690K bbls, 4.6%, estimates Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich.  That wiped out entire May-Jun gain, following rough Feb-Apr.  So yr-to-date taxpaids off 2 mil bbls, 2%, Michael estimates.  And imports just flat thru Jun, cider still soft.  All in, known US shipments off about 2 mil bbls, 1.6% yr-to-date.  Actual trend probably a skosh better including tuff-to-track taproom volume (TTB is way behind reporting volume this yr).  Gotta figure import total/Mexican volume will get a bounce sooner or later, with known Constellation gain.  But overall, growth remains elusive as hell.  Even mid-range of Michael’s projection for 2017 volume, -0.5% to flat, lookin’ like a challenge.  For 12 mos, US biz off 1.7 mil bbls, 0.8%.  Lookin’ ahead, Aug taxpaid comp is tuff (+3.6% last yr), but Sep-Oct was especially soft, -4.5%.   Meanwhile, retail scans stayed soft thru mid-Aug after modest pop for Jul 4.  Volume off 1.4% in scans for 4 wks thru mid-Aug.  On-premise retail volume continues down about 2%, according to Nielsen CGA report.  Meanwhile, spirits slowed a bit this yr, but volume still…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 16
A funny thing happened on the way to duopoly.  It didn’t happen.  With each of AB and MC continuing to put up weak volume numbers in 1st half ‒ each off 2-3% for 6 mos ‒ their combined mkt share slipped to 2/3 of total shipments for 12 mos, we estimate.  That’s down from 78.2 share in 2008 when InBev bought AB, Miller and Coors merged.  For 12 mos thru Jun, AB shipped estimated 91.3 mil bbls and had about 42.3 share.  Down from 107 mil bbls in calendar 2008 (its peak) and 48.8 share.  Meanwhile, MC shipped about 52.9 mil bbls for 12 mos thru Jun 2017 and had approx 24.5 share.  Down from 64.5 mil bbls (also its peak), 29.4 share in 2008.  Neither AB nor MC gained share since AB held in 2009, MC ticked up 0.1.  Once again, Constellation’s gain jumps off the page, in stark contrast to competitors.  Indeed, Constellation only top-6 brewer up for Q2, last 6 mos and 12 mos.  And Constellation, along with Boston, is only top-6 brewer to grow mkt share since 2008.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 15
Bud and Bud Light each “under pressure” and down mid-singles in US again, ABI ceo Brito said on Q2 conference call. That’s putting it mildly. This marked 3d qtr in a row of mid-single digits dropoff on AB’s biggest brands, over half its biz. Trends worse in scan last few mos.  Bud Light down 8.4% for 12 weeks thru Jul 16 in IRI multioutlet + convenience and Bud down 7.5%. In all channels, Bud Light lost 0.9 share and Bud down 0.4 share in qtr, while AB lost a total of 1.05 share, figures AB. AB’s total shipments and STRs down about 3% in 1st half. That’s over a point steeper than each of last 3 yrs. But even as scan data shows increasing softness for AB (down 4.5% last 12 weeks), INSIGHTS could tell AB’s mgt not freakin’ out, tho not happy with share losses. Now we know why. AB managed to grow earnings and margins, despite soft volume.  Again.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 11
Leaky bucket of mainstream beer sprung some bigger holes in 1st half, according to Nielsen all-outlet + convenience scans.  But not all bad news for mainstream; some brands growin’.  Overall picture tuff.  AB volume down 3%, MC down 2.6%.  AB got very modest price/trade up and MC just a tiny bit.  So AB $$ off 2.1% vs 2.4% drop for MC.  Top 2 combined for 1.3 share loss in volume, 1.7 share loss of $$ in 1st half.  HUSA, Pabst, Boston and NAB each down for 6 mos too.  Winners all yr so far the same: Constellation and Mike’s Hard each up double-digits, +11.9% and +13.3% respectively.  Diageo Beer Co and Yuengling up mid-singles.  All in, beer volume off 1.2% in 1st half, $$ up anemic 0.3%.  Share loss to spirits continued.   Meanwhile, trends for each top 4 brand softer than last yr, as we’ve noted. Losses really steepened going into summer.  Bud Light and Bud volume -5.6% and 6.8% respectively yr-to-date thru Jul 1.  That’s a combined share loss of 1.3.  In June, Bud Light –9.4%, Bud down 9.3%.  That’s gotta be a record.  Coors Light went from holding volume in Nielsen all outlet last yr to -2.9%…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 13
Brewer taprooms and other expanded retail sales rights, plus self-distribution and other cross-tier exceptions, are especially hot topics playing out in state legislatures across US.  Some view expanded privileges as modernization, maturation and/or evolution; others call it deregulation and threat to traditional separation of tiers, not to mention path to same tied house abuses that led to Prohibition.  Panel at NCSLA mtg provided perspective from 2 regulators, distrib advocate and craft brewer. “Why Not Let them Expand?”  “Should They Be Punished for their Success?”  These two questions asked by regulators John Cordrey (Delaware) and Rick Garza (Washington), voicing response of state legislators when issue of extending retail rights and raising caps for in-state craft brewers comes up.  Both noted strong political support enjoyed by those craft players in their states.  Rick acknowledged growing concern about how to ensure compliance by so many craft players (WA has 900 wineries, hundreds of craft brewers and one of highest number of craft distillers in US).  But he did not seem terribly alarmed by that challenge and does not subscribe to notion that hybrid licenses “out of control.”   That’s even while “it feels like” there are more hybrid licenses (mix of producer, distrib and…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 48
  • Issue # 12
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