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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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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
There continues to be considerable debate about fate of beer industry fall price hikes, even tho AB price hikes seem somewhat smaller than last yr all-in-all. So far, MillerCoors is broadly following tho not everywhere on every brand. Leading importer Crown will take prices up in Fla, at least parts of Tex, and just Modelo Especial in Calif, but it is reducing them in NYC metro. Recall, Crown hasn’t had broad natl increase since 2007. Meanwhile, more-than-typical retailer objections to this fall’s increases, including “almost a mini-revolt in the making” among 2 dozen retail clients, sez consultant Bump Williams. He heard from 21 of his 24 clients (including many of nation’s largest), who told Bump that “their new strategies” will be to “greatly reduce their support of Premium and (walk away from) Below Premium brands,” in favor of imports and craft. Beer industry pricing remains up solidly so far in 2011, and up slightly again over Labor Day. Some notable pressure points in fall beer price hikes, nowhere more so than in NYC, where AB’s fall price hike unlikely to stick. Manhattan Beer has already lowered prices $1.50 per case on Crown cases of 12-packs in grocery and c-store chains.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 17
Just how difficult has it become for big brewers to grow biz in urban West Coast mkts? With total mkt declining in most of 'em and very hi share for imports and growing craft, it has become a very daunting challenge indeed. In 3 of 4 top West Coast mkts, AB and MC combined share of $$ under 50%, sez Symphony IRI Group data in supers for 52 weeks thru Jan 2. Here are some other striking stats: craft and imports had high of 56 share of $$ in San Francisco/Oakland, while AB at just 21.7. Imports fully at 35.3 share there, down 1.7 share and craft at 21.1, up 1.7. Yep, that's right. Craft $$ sales about as large as AB's, while imports 1.7x as big. Yet of 4 major West Coast mkts, AB actually had its best trend here (including its imports), holding share in supers. And MillerCoors gained 0.1 share to 23.1 here. Volume for both down just slightly in SF. In other West Coast mkts, some really tuff trends. In LA, by far the biggest of these mkts, total volume in supers dropped 4%. But craft volume up double digits and imports up 1%, while AB…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 2
Close the gaps and open the taps. Clear now that Crown's strategy to close price gaps, take rev/profit hit, while keeping mktg consistent, turned biz around. Crown posted solid 5% depletions gain in latest fiscal qtr thru Nov. Drove sales $$ up double-digits as it re-filled distrib inventories and grew biz. That was 3d-straight depletions gain, Constellation prexy/ceo Rob Sands pointed out, noting Corona Extra depletions up for 1st qtr since JV formed in 2007. (Corona down 1.7% in 07, -4.6% in 08, -9.8% in 09.) For 9 mos thru Nov, Crown depletions up mid-single digits. Inventory-fueled volume pop drove net sales up 22%, operating income up 27% in Q3 Sep-Nov. That put 9-mo revs back in black, +$77 mil, 4.2%. Operating income still slightly behind for 9 mos: -$6 mil, -1.7%. But Constellation now expects income up slightly for fiscal 2011 thru Feb. Recall that Crown oper income down $56 mil, 11% in calendar 09, revs off 7%. So this is big shift. Constellation prexy/ceo Rob Sands cited new ads for Corona/Corona Light during fall sports and continued growth of Modelo Especial, still running up 15-20%. Differences with partner Modelo over mktg spend ironed out and going forward investments…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2011
  • Volume 42
  • Issue # 1
Newly promoted MillerCoors exec veep Andy England was keynote speaker at Sport Biz Jnl/IMG Sports Marketing Symposium and gave some fascinating insights into MillerCoors marketing. After "extensive research," Andy quipped it "turns out" men like "women and sports." This is "very valuable research." Ha, ha. But seriously folks, Andy showed why beer cos so fixated on sports and young adult Hispanics. Men consume 79% of total beer, Andy noted. To "leverage sports in the beer business," have to have what Andy calls "3 Rs": "Reach," "Relationships" and "Retail Activation." Sports best captures these 3 Rs and that's why MillerCoors spends 60% of its media $$ against 'em. As for Hispanics, they're 15% of total population, but 24% of 21-25 yr olds, Andy noted. Even more powerfully, in 5 yrs, Hispanics will be 31% of 21-25 yr olds. Hispanics "currently concentrated in several key geographies where their relative importance is even more dramatic," Andy noted. What's more, 82% of Latino consumption is by men. There's a higher incidence of beer drinkers among Latinos, more occasions per week, more volume per occasion, plus they are younger and more blue collar. No wonder, Andy called MC's alliance with Mexican soccer league in US…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2010
  • Volume 41
  • Issue # 18
Tho deal pace has remained sluggish overall in 2010 (see last issue) a flurry of deals announced in last mo, many with interesting twists. Tho AB can't close on its acquisition of 70% of City Bev in Ill to make that a branch, AB will add to its branches in NJ. Has deal to purchase 3-mil-case Jersey Eagle from Klopcic family. Deal announced less than 1 mo after NJ trial over FMV concluded and expected to close by end of Oct. Klopcics will still sell about 12 mil cases in Mich; reportedly look to get bigger again there or elsewhere. Northern NJ branch will be contiguous to AB's NYC branch. Elsewhere, a 5th generation Coke bottler in Sioux City, Ia, Chesterman Co has deal to buy 2 smaller contiguous AB distribs, Whittenburg Dist in Spencer and Kabrick Dist in Britt, totaling 1.6 mil cases, pending supplier approval. Not too many Coke bottlers have become beer distribs. This is Chesterman's first foray into beer biz. Also notable that largest distrib Reyes Holdings back in action, buying beer distribs, after hiatus since late 08. Its Premium Dist arm in Va/DC/Md has deal to buy 2 Va distribs, Fredericksbug and Freeman, totaling about…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2010
  • Volume 41
  • Issue # 17