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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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There's been some much better news this year on beer industry volume overall, but one segment is still sufferin': subpremiums. That's by design. Subpremium volume squeezed in recent yrs as AB took larger price increases on subpremium brands, attempting to narrow gap between subpremium and premium pricing. Subpremium/malt liquors lost over 4 mil bbls last 2 yrs to 50 mil bbls and likely down 3% or so again this yr, another 1.5 mil bbls. All below premium beers dropped 3.3% in Nielsen food/drug/convenience data through 8/11 and they lost 1.4 share to 27.6 of off-premise volume (but just 20.4 share of $$). Nine of top 10 subpremium brands declined. AB has top 3 brands that are 44 share of segment volume. Natty Light down 6%, Busch Light down 0.8% and Busch down 4.8%. MillerCoors has brands # 4&5, both down mid-single digits: High Life down 5.5% and Keystone Light down 6.3%. Natty Ice down 7.5%. Top 6 subpremium brands over 2/3 of segment volume, but accounted for all of share loss; down 1.4 share between 'em yr-to-date. There's only one shining light among subpremiums: Pabst Blue Ribbon. PBR continues to rock. Up 26.7% in Nielsen f/d/c YTD. PBR presently has…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 43
  • Issue # 16
MC earnings grew faster than AB's in 1st half 2012, even while its depletions trend was 2 points softer (difference is basically Bud Light Platinum). MillerCoors oper income jumped $78 mil, 12% in 1st half to $723 mil, while ABI North American EBIT (including Canada) up 4% to $2.9 bil. MC's oper margin up to 18.1 in half. That's big jump from 11 in 2009, 13.5 last yr tho still only about half of ABI's North American EBIT margin at 36.5. What's more, MC's earnings likely to be less robust in 2d half, judging by its own guidance for more modest margin increase of 25-50 basis points for the yr. MC's earnings growth bolstered by rev per bbl up between 3.5-4% for 2d qtr in a row. MC got 0.6 points of benefit from mix shift in 2d qtr, while net pricing improved by 3%. But MC also had "very good cost management," said ceo Tom Long on conference call. It realized $32 mil in savings, mostly because of "integrated supply chain." MillerCoors deep into "business transformation" project, working with consultant BCG, expected to result in reorg of systems, processes and people. MillerCoors cost of goods sold and mktg, gen…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 43
  • Issue # 15
May another very good mo in beer biz, according to most reports, with several suppliers on a roll. Yuengling up 30%, NAB up 20%, Crown and HUSA up double digits,INSIGHTS hears. And many distribs talk of gangbuster mo. Tho Beer Inst May shipments data not yet available, all these numbers suggest beer biz added significantly in May to its 1.1-mil-bbl gain thru Apr. With easy 3d qtr comps, will be harder for industry to give all of that gain back thru rest of 2012. Volume might even be up in 2012, for first time since 2008, tho too soon to know. Some noise in numbers with extra sell days so far. Then too, while "there's some euphoria out there" thru May, one longtime observer believes the "elephant in the room" is the effect of another "across the board price hike" in 4th qtr. Make no mistake, AB plans another widespread price increase. It has already begun talking to distribs about fall increases, sometimes discussing details. But no paper yet. Thru mid-year, pricing has again held up well, tho there are some outliers (see below). Consumer price index shows beer off-premise up 2.2% thru May. Meanwhile, AB avg prices up 2.7%…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 43
  • Issue # 12
Diageo Guinness USA is a $620 mil co within Diageo North America (approx $5 bil in fiscal 2011), DGUSA prexy Sheila Stanziale told INSIGHTS Spring Conference, with its own P&L. "We sink or swim on our own. We're swimming these days, thankfully," said Sheila. Guinness Black Lager and pouches are among the most successful innovations within all of Diageo North America in last 6 mos. And so DGUSA "is playing an increasingly important role within Diageo North America," said Sheila. Guinness brand up 12% for 52 weeks in Symphony IRI group data. And "every single package within the Guinness brand family is in positive growth mode," she added. Black Lager is "essentially bringing the whole family up, and will "probably" be "close to a million cases," in 8-9 mos. Good portion of Sheila's remarks dedicated to promoting PABs as way to "keep consumers in our beer space as long as we can before we lose share to spirits." Biggest oppy in pouches, Sheila had said, noting it's gone "from a fledgling category" under $10 mil to $30 mil in sales already "without the benefit of full supply…. I think it's a $100 million category," added Sheila. And it's "found business"…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 43
  • Issue # 11
While MillerCoors underperformed industry volume-wise in Q1, financially, MC had good qtr with strong rev/bbl and operating income per bbl gains, +3.9% and +17% respectively. Rev per bbl increase was full pt higher than any of previous 8 qtrs. About 70 basis pts of rev/bbl pop from brand mix, cfo Gavin Hattersley said on conference call. CEO Tom Long said there's "room to richen" brand mix going forward via growth of Tenth & Blake brands and focus on premium lights. Even while MC down 1.6% overall, Blue Moon up 15% and Leinenkugel brands up 25%. But pricing issues could affect future rev per bbl(see above). Big personnel changes, internally and externally. CFO Gavin is moving over to take cfo spot at Molson Coors. Gavin widely viewed as 1 of MC's most capable execs. Coming in: Tracy Joubert, who started with SAB Ltd, most recently was finance, planning and analysis veep. MC also made big agency changes recently. Dropped longtime agency DraftFCB, which had been on Coors Light for decades. MC moved Coors Light and Banquet creative/digital work to new "integrated, multi-agency" group at WPP, after moving all Lite work to Saatchi. MC's media planning/and digital buying moved as well. Too…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2012
  • Volume 43
  • Issue # 10
"We've got to find ways to grow the size and value of the whole category," MillerCoors ceo Tom Long said in interview at Beer Insights Seminar. "Every time you lose a light drinker to craft, per caps go down," he added, "even though there is more interest in beer." Today's millennial consumer is "very promiscuous," "big on experimentation" and their "palates are changing." To address this, expect MC "to make a handful of bets" to compete more effectively in various growth categories, possibly including PABs/cider and certainly craft. (MC has so far announced fewer new products/packages for 2012 than AB.) MillerCoors must get "much, much bigger" in craft, Tom reiterated. That said, MC's top jobs are still "fixing Miller Lite" and to "keep premium lights strong," according to Tom. To accomplish that MC must do "a better job of marketing" Lite, Tom said, noting that MC has changed "almost everyone on the Miller Lite team" and new group "understands young people" and "not tethered to old strategy." He conceded "maybe we didn't do best job" on this yr's "summer camp" Lite campaign. Can the beer biz grow in 2012? It's "got more headwinds than tailwinds," said Tom, but if "we…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 22