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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:

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After Modelo execs announced exports just flat in 07, including 6% drop in 4th qtr, as well as modest expectations for 08, analysts peppered them with questions about US in  Feb 21 conference call.  Many expressed surprise.  Morgan Stanley’s Lore Serra said “2007 was obviously a very different year in the export market than, I think, anybody thought it would be.”  Several asked for more clarity on pricing, volume, profits for 08 exports.  Modelo guided for “low-to-mid single digit growth” in exports (US 82% of 07 exports, not over 85% we estimated).  That number would be Modelo shipments to US.  Crown expects mid- to-high-single digit sales to wholesalers.  Total US import mkt will only grow about 1%, forecasts intl veep Jose Pares.  Modelo expecting another tough yr, affected by economy, domestic pricing on larger package sizes, increased competition, etc.  Crown pricing will stay the same.  And so will profits.  “We will maintain our profitability” in the US, added Jose.  Emphasized Modelo “not expecting any decline.”  Crown made $524 mil oper income in its first yr on sales of $2.5 bil, more than anyone else except AB in US, but that’s less than expected, and Modelo doesn’t expect much profit growth…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 5
On Mar 5, Molson Coors cfo Tim Wolf cited “great momentum” in US biz and called trend “similar” to several weeks earlier when it had reported hi-single digit growth in 08. INSIGHTS hears number very close to 9%. Yet Coors doing even better than that in many mkts. Up 13% in Fla thru week 8. Up 15% in West. And NY metro up over 30%. Even if comps easy, these are some truly shocking growth rates. Can they be sustained? INSIGHTS wonders where the laggards are. Coors volume up “only” 7% in supers thru Feb 24, sez IRI, including Coors Light up 5.4%, Keystone Light up 13%, Coors Banquet up 13%, Blue Moon up 31%, plus pop from Blue Moon seasonals. Coors key account program payin’ divi-dends, up more than 6% there in 07, prexy Peter Swinburn said at Mar 5 meeting. Last yr, Coors got 95,000 new placements of Coors Light and Keystone Light, which accounted for fully 40% of Coors growth. What’s more, AB still has between 650,000-800,000 more place-ments than Coors, so there’s “plenty of headroom,” added Peter. Molson Coors ceo Leo Kiely said he looks forward to MillerCoors JV, that he expects ap-proval this summer. When…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 5
“We feel pretty good about where we are right now with Crown and the beer business,” said Constellation prexy/CEO Rob Sands during conference call last week.  If you look  apples-to-apples, Crown sales “slightly negative” for fiscal yr ending Feb 08 going against big back half the yr before, acknowledged CFO Bob Ryder.  But depletions “would have been positive in low single-digits,” Bob said.  And Rob and Bob repeated numerous times the guidance that “Crown is confident in its ability to achieve mid single-digit depletion growth” for fiscal 09.  That’s even tho Calif “has not bounced back at this stage.”  But, “in a number of markets” where late 06/early 07 price increase has been cycled, “we are seeing a return to solid growth trends,” including double-digit gains in Tex and eastern mkts.  Pointed to similar pattern in past: “flattened out sales growth” for 12-15 mos after Corona price increase, then “growth returns at a bit lower rate” than before increase.  Current volume guidance takes into account “potential softness” in Calif.  How does Crown view new competition aimed at Corona?  Lotsa products “geared or aimed to compete with Corona Extra” over the yrs, but “we’ve been very successful in competing against those…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 7
Boston Beer growth exploded last 2 yrs and led craft segment resurgence.  It followed 17% growth in 06 with 17% growth in 07 (craft segment grew 12% each yr).  Grew a half-mil bbls in 2 yrs to hit 1.848 mil bbls.  Compare that to 10-yr trend: Boston up less than 700,000 bbls 1997-07.  So 70% of its growth in last 10 yrs came in last 2.  Its revs jumped $56 mil, 19.7% to $341 mil in 07 and oper income hit $37 mil, up 32%.  Boston oper income more than tripled from $11 mil to $37 mil last 5 yrs and its oper margin doubled from 5.4 to 10.8.  Oper margin now in same ballpark as Coors and Miller.  Boston Beer rev per bbl at $182, up 2.8%. That’s 57% higher than AB’s $116.  Boston ended 07 with $95 mil in cash.  After net inc tripled and sales strong in 4th qtr, Boston’s stock surged 26% in 1 day.  Stock still almost 20% below peak (recall, it got clobbered on costs after 3d qtr), but stock has made up lotsa ground. Orders-in-hand suggest shipments continued up at a double-digit rate, Boston said.  Up 10% in 1st qtr.   And sales-to-retailers even…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 6
Each of Coors and craft gained 0.6 share of $$ in supers yr-to-date thru Feb 24, according to IRI. Total beer $$ sales up 4%. But Coors $$ sales up 10.6% and total craft segment $$ up 14%. Heineken USA also off to good start with $$ up 8% and a 0.2 share gain. Meanwhile, AB $$ up 2%. But down almost 1 full share of $$ so far in 08 (InBev brands included both yrs). Miller $$ up 4% and held share. AB, Miller and Crown each flat on volume. Crown $$ also up 2% and it lost 0.2 share. Total import volume remains sluggish, up just 1%. And $$ sales, tho up 3.7%, lost 0.1 share. Bud family down over 1 share of $$ yr-to-date in supers, as Bud lost 0.6 share of $$, Bud Light lost 0.2 share and Bud Select 0.3 so far in 08. Bud Light eking out 0.5% volume gain YTD ($$ up 2.8%). Miller Lite volume down 1% ($$ up 2%). It also lost 0.2 share of $$. And Corona volume continues down 2% with $$ flat and down 0.2 share. So Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Corona, 4 of top 5…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 5
Coors capped an excellent 2007 with sales-to-retailer growth between 6-7% in 2d half in 50 states.  Up 6.2% in 4th qtr, following 6.9% growth in 3d qtr (trends come down a little if you include still tuff Puerto Rico).  What’s more, Coors momentum continued with sales up “high single digits” in 1st 5 weeks of 08, Coors said in conference call.  Those are startling trends, unseen in many a moon from a big brewer.  Coors STRs up in 45 of 50 states in 07.  Coors sales-to-retailers up about 4% in 07 compared to AB & Miller “organic” STR trends down 0.3 and up 0.5 respectively.  Coors reported 776,000-bbl, 3.3% shipments gain to 24.25 mil bbls in its US segment.  That’s as big as any bbls gain that Coors got in last 15 yrs (99 and 00 very similar).  But true trend even better, because Coors actually reported 53 weeks in its 2006 calendar (don’t ask).  That means on apples-to-apples basis, in calendar 2007, Coors up another 330,000 bbls or so, Coors said.  That’s 1.1 mil bbls, Coors’ biggest gain since 1990, when Coors still expanding eastward.  Coors very nearly fired on all cylinders in its brand portfolio.  Consider: Coors Light…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2008
  • Volume 39
  • Issue # 4