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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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Key concern for SABMiller: US game is won and lost on mktg front first and foremost, but that’s not SAB’s key strength and hasn’t been Miller’s in recent yrs either. SAB ceo Graham Mackay summarized its "competencies" at end of recent speech: "operation skills, brand portfolio development, low cost production, M&A track record and integration abilities, margin improvement and strong cash generation." Graham did not emphasize its skill as a marketer. In conference call after deal, Miller ceo John Bowlin said Miller 2002 mktg programs "right on" and pointed to signs of progress tho he did acknowledge: "not every month, not every quarter as bright as the last one." Miller is spending at competitive levels, according to John. "I don’t think we could have said that until this year," he added. Miller has bolstered core brand spending by $100 mil last 3 yrs and will spend "incremental" approx $100 mil on flavored malt bevs too. Graham too said mktg "in the right direction." Miller needs this mktg improvement to reverse longterm declines of Miller brand equities. Compared to 1991, Miller Lite down 2 mil bbls, Gen Draft down 1 mil bbls, High Life down 100,000 bbls (but price repositioned) and…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 33
  • Issue # 10
Miller?s action of "simply changing its FOB price in close conformity with" distrib?s price to retailer "is lawful and neither fixes nor maintains the price" when distrib resells beer. So concluded fed ct judge in Tex recently as he dismissed most charges brought by Lubbock Bev vs Miller. In effect that means that what lotsa distribs call "reachback" by brewers ain?t a price-fixing violation, at least not to this fed judge. Recall that Lubbock Bev had charged Miller unreasonably withheld approval of deal in 2000. Charged too that Miller practice of raising FOBs when distrib adopted higher-than-suggested price-to-retail violated state and fed laws. But judge disagreed. In addition, fed judge ruled Miller did not violate Tex Fair Dealing Law when it disapproved deal. Miller?s refusal to approve was reasonable, he wrote, "because Miller enumerated several legitimate business reasons" for disapproval, "any one of which was sufficient." Lubbock added price discrimination claims that judge refused to dismiss. It will appeal judge's order. Meanwhile, Miller countersued Lubbock charging fraud related to "overpaid FOB reimbursements." Miller seeks right to terminate immediately, plus damages and atty fees. Trial slated to start Jul 8. More on judge?s reachback logic next issue.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 33
  • Issue # 11
Six-mo streak of taxpaid shipments gains ended in May: taxpaids down 100,000 bbls, 0.6%, estimates Matt Hein of Beer Inst. That?s a slow-mo especially given new round of malternative rollouts, plus May 2001 was flat. Yr-to-date, taxpaids still up 1.1 mil bbls, 1.5%. But for 12 mos, taxpaids up 1 mil bbls, 0.6%. Meanwhile, imports followed 1st qtr slowdown (+6%) with 16% jump in Apr. Brought YTD trend back up to +600,000 bbls, +9%. Leading the charge still: Mexican imports. Up 584,000 bbls, 21% for 4 mos. Corona price increase went into effect beginning Mar-Apr in most of US. But while Barton Beers, mostly Corona, revs up 14% Mar thru May, its depletions down slightly, cfo told analysts. Only other double-digit import gain YTD from major source: Irish shipments up 16% following big drop last year. Dutch shipments and UK shipments each ahead 6%, but German shipments off 6%, and Canadian shipments off 15% as lots less Smirnoff Ice being made in Canada this year. Two numbers to watch: Czech imports (mostly Pilsner Urquell) up 15% on small base; Belgian imports (mostly Stella Artois) doubled on even smaller base.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 33
  • Issue # 12
In Tex, by far the biggest beer light mkt and 2d biggest beer state overall, all light beers have over 60 share and still growing. Wow! Some shocking shipment and share shifts in Tex thru mid 03. Bud Light still flying. Up 192,000 bbls, 9% thru May; Gained 3 full share to 29.6. But Miller Lite fell 148,000 bbls, 15% and Coors Light fell 60,000 bbls, 8% for 5 mos. That?s on top of 9% hit to Miller Lite and 5% drop for Coors Light in 02. Those 3 brands at 49 share of biz in state. Total AB biz up 166,000 bbls, 4% (Bud brand down 5%) thru May while Tex mkt down 2%. Miller down 209,000 bbls, 13% YTD. For 12 mos, AB share climbed 2.3 to 55.2 while Miller declined 1.8 to 19. Coors only lost 0.2 share. It is down much more modestly overall than on Coors Light. Off 26,000 bbls, 2.5% for 5 mos. That?s because Keystone Light on a roll. Up 29,000 bbls, 13%. Keystone Light at 3.2 share in Tex, roughly 3x its national share. Meanwhile, Mich Ultra under 1 share in Tex: shipped 64,000 bbls thru May. Top malternatives declined 62,000 bbls,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2003
  • Volume 34
  • Issue # 14
New INSIGHTS analysis of total high-end malt bev mkt in US shows why more and more brewer/distrib focus aimed squarely here. Two factors stand out: 1) high end grew far faster than overall beer biz, roughly 2+ mil bbls per year for each of last 5 yrs; 2) big brewers consistently lost share of this profitable, growing segment in recent yrs. High-end volume reached 39 mil bbls in 2001, we estimate. That?s about 19% of total US malt bev shipments. And high end jumped almost 3 mil bbls in 2001 alone; over half of gain was Smirnoff Ice. Since 96, high-end market expanded by 11.3 mil bbls, 41% and gained 5 share. Editor?s note: definition of high end depends on who?s definin?. INSIGHTS? first crack at total segment is expansive, including all imports (tho some sell at prices close to premium), all malternatives/hard lemons, all of old superpremium segment (mostly Michelob brands and Rolling Rock, ditto on price issue), and all craft beers. In same 5-yr period when total high end jumped 11 mil bbls, AB?s high-end brands actually declined slightly: from 5.5 mil bbls to 5.3 mil bbls. More important, AB?s 20 share of high end in 96 eroded…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 33
  • Issue # 13
"There seem to be signs" malternatives "are peaking," AB CFO Randy Baker said in conference call Jul 24. AB sees "nothing there that supports further significant growth," Randy added. YTD thru Jul 14, malternatives had 3.1 share of supermarket volume, according to IRI, up 0.8. Several Wall St analysts echo Randy. "We continue to expect malternatives to peak in the 3Q and forecast a 3.5% share for this segment, basically a niche segment similar in size to the craft or microbrewers," Morgan Stanley’s Bill Pecoriello wrote recently. (In 2001, micros had 3 share, malternatives had 2.5 share.) "We believe that the FAB category is going through a period of accelerated brand rationalization (akin to that of the wine cooler, ice beer, craftbrew, etc) as a result of recent disappointing FAB introductions such as Captain Morgan Gold and Sauza Diablo. We believe the lack of traction by these products have made wholesalers and retailers hesitant to stock up their shelves with new brands," Caroline Levy at UBS Warburg wrote. Biggest disappointment so far: Captain Morgan Gold, which Diageo supported heavily during 2d-qtr launch. The brand just did not sell. In fact, Diageo already pulling some excess inventory from distribs. At presstime,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 33
  • Issue # 14
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