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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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Lotsa minus signs in table below with estimated shipments for US biz and top suppliers in Q2, 1st half and 12 mos. So pain of soft volume -- revs still up 2-3% -- spread far and wide. On top of that, figures for several top players you don't see - Crown, Heineken USA and Diageo - are all worse. Gotta get down to Yuengling (#8 supplier) and craft players below Boston to see many healthy plus signs (tho AB's 12-mo gain of 1.2% still comparatively solid). As Jun import shipments came in down 84,000 bbls, 3% (see below), means US shipments off 1% in 2d qtr, 1.4% for 6 mos. Up 0.6% same periods last yr. AB shipments really slowed since 2-3% gains in back half of 08. Its 1% decline in 2d qtr put AB almost even for 6 mos on shipments basis. STRs down 0.8% in 2d qtr, following 2.1% gain in 1st qtr, but still up 0.5% for 6 mos on selling-day adjusted basis. Tho AB ain't settin' world afire, it is gaining share. Popped up to 49 share for 6 mos and 49.1 for 12 mos. That's up 0.5 share for 6 mos, 0.8 share for…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 15
Problems continued for imports. Dropoff steepened in scan data during key holidays. Volume down 7% for 4 weeks thru Jul 12, 6% for 13 weeks and 4% YTD in food/drug/convenience according to IRI. Mexican imports over half of segment in IRI. Had more modest drop: 3.6% for 4 weeks, 2.3% for 13 weeks and almost flat YTD but Mexican imports #s getting worse as yr goes on. Previously hot brands, like Tecate and Modelo Especial, slowed, tho Dos Equis still hot. For 13 weeks, Tecate down 2.5%, Dos Equis still up 30%. Modelo slowed to single digit growth last 4 weeks. Corona brand clearly still struggling. Down 8.5% for 13 weeks, slightly worse trend than yr-to-date. Overall, FEMSA still outperforming Modelo in US, but not by as wide a margin as before. While Modelo volume continued to decline at "low single-digit rate" in US in Q2, FEMSA exports up 2.4% in Q2. For 6 mos, FEMSA exports +2.3%, compared to Modelo down 5-6% (4.6% in qtr). Crown Imports oper income took $15 mil, 10% hit in 2d qtr. For FEMSA, US rev/bbl in dollars up healthy 3.7% "mainly due to moderate price increases" on Tecate and "favorable brand mix shift…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 14
Premium light beers are probably more challenged than anytime in their 30+ yr run. The biggest culprit: trading down. Three top premium light brands were collectively down 100,000 bbls, 0.1% in 08. And ain't off to great start in 09. Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite are 35% of beer biz, and remain central to top 2 plans for growth. Against that backdrop, notable that MillerCoors prexy Tom Long twice (lightly?) tweaked Bud Light in recent weeks. Just prior to SABMiller Jun 2 MillerCoors seminar in London, Miller prexy Tom Long told Fin Times that Bud/Bud Light "are big brands without a razor sharp position." Is this a return to "able challenger" mode familiar from Norman Adami era? "This is maybe the best time for insurgent brands in 20 years," he also said, echoing comment from MC ceo Leo Kiely a couple mos back about how much volume "up for grabs." A couple weeks earlier, during q&a at May 21 Bev Forum, Tom was asked if he was concerned about Bud Light's Drinkability campaign. He answered flatly: "No." But during MC seminar, Tom refrained from pointed remarks about Bud Light. While lotsa talk that MC goin' after perceived vulnerabilities…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 11
Big brewers remain sanguine about beer pricing. ABI ceo Carlos Brito spoke of "very healthy pricing" in US recently. "Things are pretty sane" going into Memorial Day, MillerCoors prexy east Tom Cardella told INSIGHTS, "except for a couple of hot spots." Those include $11.99 suitcases for "premium" brands in Chi, earlier $8.88 12-pks of Corona in Phoenix, both loss leaders. Then too, avg beer prices up 3.7% for 4 mos, sez govt, 3.4% in scanner data. That's healthy. But consumer price index for all items just flat. Traditionally, beer CPI matched or below inflation. Key question as brewers plan another round of fall hikes and excise tax hikes loom: how healthy can pricing stay?

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 10
Remember when Barton/Gambrinus became unified Crown and it held promise of creating earnings engine? Well, it hasn't happened and not likely this yr either. That's for a variety of reasons, including tuff economy, ill-timed Corona price hike, consumer shifts, organizational hitches etc. Not only was Crown oper income down $5 mil, 1% to $504 mil for Constellation's fiscal yr ending Feb 09, but Constellation forecast Crown earnings "down slightly" over next 12 mos. Revs flat for 12 mos thru Feb 09, tho Constellation had said numerous times that it would grow at mid-single digit rate last yr. This yr, it projects "flattish" sales, but down 6% in latest qtr thru Feb (going against estimated double-digit decline same 3 mos last yr). Why will sales improve? Crown will get more promotional. "Yes we are planning on being aggressive" in beer biz, said Constellation ceo Robert Sands during conference call, "and we do hope that will be positive with its impact on volume." Increased discounts will be "self-liquidating" with regards to earnings (i.e. Constellation expects higher cost to be offset by better volume trend). So why are Crown's earnings expected to be down again? Because of "contracted" increases in cost of goods…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 7
MC placed ton of emphasis on chains, understandably. Chains are 40% of biz, up 2.5% in 08 for MC, and it expects chains to be over half of biz in 5 yrs or so. A key objective: to "drive Wal-Mart volume." As consumer shifts to Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart is shifting to beer," noted veep Kevin Doyle. Beer is a 110-mil case, $2 bil biz in Wal-Mart and it wants to double that in next few yrs. Yep, that's right. Wal-Mart would like to be over 220 mil cases in 3-4 yrs (7-8% of total US beer biz). No wonder MC has goal of growing revs 27% in Wal-Mart in 2009. Kevin called Wal-Mart, MillerCoors' "single biggest opportunity to win as one in the next few years." He also cited MC's recent win as category captain of largest Midwest regional chain Meijer's. Articulated another audacious goal for MC: gain 1 share point in c-stores in 09. In all channels, MC seeks 250,000 new placements in 09, and 12,000 new points of draft distribution. MC went from 61% of its volume consolidated in July to "more than 70%" now, said prexy East Tom Cardella. Noted there were 52 transactions in last 6 mos…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2009
  • Volume 40
  • Issue # 6