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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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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
10/23/2011

Odds and Ends

Modelo exports down 4% in 3d qtr thru Sep. Crown revs at $1.919 bil for 9 mos, up 5.7% from $1.814 bil last yr. But oper income identical at $352 mil, which means oper margin reduced by a point to 18.3…. Big Southern AB distrib seeks gen mgr. Send resumes in confidence… Next issue in 2.5 weeks after our conference and 3d qtr results.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 20
Retailer extraordinaire, prexy David Trone of Total Wine & More, gave whirlwind presentation to CLE Intl Wine, Beer & Spirits Law mtg recently in Boston. Trone started with beer retail shops in Pennsy in late 80s, won series of legal challenges over pricing, ads, licensing issues. Eventually left Pa's "antiquated" biz when leases ran out due to "too much politics and too much liquor law." Moved on to build biggest pure play retail alc bev biz in US, now with 78 shops in 11 states, most in 20-25,000 sq-ft range, some bigger. Revs this yr will "crack" $1 bil, David said, far surpassing next biggest chains, ABC in Fla and BevMo in Calif/Ariz, each in $550-600 mil range. (Costco at $2.5 bil.) Avg rev gain last 5 yrs: +$123 mil, +19%. Next yr: Hello Dallas and NM. Typical Total Wine outlet boasts 8000 wine skus, 3000 spirit skus and 2500 beer skus. Tho Trone started pushin' price and selection back in PA, has since switched focus to customer service, choice, and education, while still offering best prices. Craft biz "on fire right now" in his stores, David said: up 40% excluding biggest brands like Sam Adams, Sierra. "We're killing craft…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 20
As noted last issue, plenty of "concern" about hi-alc, big single-serve FMBs. FTC dropped next shoe just a week later. Signed proposed agreement with Phusion Projects requiring it to run mandated label on its products if can has more than 2.5 typical beers. Also has to sell them exclusively in resealable cans beginning 6 mos after agreement finalized and refrain from "depicting people drinking directly from the container" any pkg that has over 2.5 beers. Previous 4 Loko materials, said FTC, were "deceptive" since they suggested it was safe to consume equivalent of up to 4.7 beers "on a single occasion." Phusion denied charge but signed agreement and touted new resealable can technology that it will have exclusively and which will hit mkt early next yr. Agreement raises much broader question: will FTC target other hi-alc FMBs in big cans (hard to believe it won't) and possibly pull in some hi-alc craft beer containers that exceed that 2.5-beer limit? Also, sure looks like FTC advancing distillers' ball in adopting notion of a standard drink.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 19
This has to be one of craziest yrs yet in terms of pressure on pricing in many different directions, complicating pricing strategies this fall and going into 2012. Certainly, more retailers pushin’ back against latest round of price hikes. “I’m open to price increases truly coming from input costs going up,” buyer Geoff Greble from influential Wegmans said on panel at Brooklyn Brewery’s natl sales conference. But he’s “questioning large premium houses” about “how input-driven” current increases are, or whether they’re “manipulative of gross profit on different products.” Speaking generally, several top grocer execs told Wall St Jnl that consumers increasingly pessimistic and more price conscious. One said “I think we’ve got to start holding a tough line (with vendors) from this point forward.” Elsewhere, one big southern retailer told INSIGHTS planned beer price hikes in one state “are probably the biggest mess I’ve seen in a decade. They’re too high, too crazy and everyone is trying to be too cute.” Ironically, beer consumers traded up at faster pace over summer with craft, import and superpremium segments gaining steam. In fact, Wegmans looks closely at its most loyal shopper’s club members and has found “highly increased switchability” in their buying…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 18