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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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This is a sea change for AB distribs and for Yuengling.  As many now know, Yuengling will expand to Tennessee with exclusive AB network of distribs this fall.  About a dozen of ‘em appointed and all but one are currently exclusive.  Can’t make St Lou happy.  Yuengling’s announcement just before Tenn state assn meeting, where AB guys reportedly had tense meeting with AB state mgr. Fascinating experiment will include other significant firsts.  It will be first time Yuengling has entered any state with seamless distribution network, first time it is coming in at higher price (at Michelob levels) and initially there will be no draft.  That’s because of cooperage shortages, and probably won’t last more than a few mos. But it’s also interesting because Yuengling does about 40% of its biz in draft.  AB has 63 share of 4-mil-bbl mkt in Tenn, even higher share than that on draft.  AB sells over 2.6 mil bbls in Tenn.  In last 5 yrs, AB lost 2 share there, even tho it grew slightly.  Big 3 brewers collectively lost almost 5 share last 5 yrs, as imports and craft jumped from 5 to 11 share and grew more than total volume in state. …

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 13
Tho 155 beer deals done since late 04, only 1 over $1 bil, SABMiller’s Bavaria buy in 05. “We anticipate step-up,” Dresdner Kleinwort analysts recently wrote, adding: “We expect the endgame scenario to emerge by way of mega-deals,” and to play out by end of decade. Why? Several new “M&A catalysts” identified by DK. One is lower debt levels, especially at InBev and Heineken, which gives “increased scope for acquisitions.” At same time, #5 global player “Carlsberg has completely transformed its prospects” by changing rules of foundation that owns biz, allowing it to double equity base and do a big deal. Indeed, Carlsberg’s chairman recently said: “A major deal is likely. Carlsberg has the strength to become bigger.” Similarly, #4 Heineken has also altered its ownership structure in way that will make it easier to raise debt for acquisition, and “scotched any speculation that it may be a seller…rather than a buyer.” Another factor: US domestic beer has gone “ex-growth,” i.e., flattish volume and “limited pricing.” Those factors suggest AB, SABMiller and Molson Coors “will be forced to do deals to improve their growth rate.” Most likely combos in DK’s view: Carlsberg purchase of Scottish & Newcastle to get 100%…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 12
First key summer holiday period -- 2 wks around Memorial Day -- went to the little guys, at least in supermkt channel.  While total beer biz off 1.4%, Coors hit trifecta: volume +0.6%, share +0.2 and avg prices +3.6%, noted Morgan Stanley’s Bill Pecoriello reporting IRI data.  Meanwhile, AB volume down 1.7%, share -0.1, avg prices +1.5%.  Miller volume  -2.4%, share off 0.2, but prices +3.4%.  Interestingly, import share just flat, with each of HUSA and Crown volume down slightly, but aggressive import pricing +4.6%.  Crafts continued to roll, up a half-share even with 4.8% avg price increase.     

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 11
Heineken USA sales-to-retailers up 8% thru Apr, “a very solid start,” prexy Andy Thomas noted at 2-day global investor conference that focused in great detail on HUSA.  But HUSA had been up 14% Jan-Apr 06.  HUSA down 1% in Mar 07 (going against HPL launch last yr) and up 3% in Apr.  So it’s slowed considerably last couple of mos.  Not just lapping HPL launch, but implementation of “biggest price increase ever,” said Andy, about 2.5% nationwide, has slowed results, at least for now.  HUSA up double-digits in each of Jan-Feb, last 2 mos when Heineken Premium Light volume all incremental.  All-in, Heineken brands up near 5% thru Apr, said Heineken.  Heineken/HPL grew despite lousy weather, and HPL “on track” to hit 07 volume goal of over 850K bbls.  Heineken brand up so far in 07, said Andy, but he didn’t say how much. On Amstel Light “we haven’t seen turnaround,” Andy acknowledged, but HUSA named new agency, and he had not expected to reenergize brand yet. Even with HPL, import/specialty lights still only 3.6% of light beer segment, updated Andy, while up to 37% of regular beer.  Closing gap is the “sizable opportunity” represented by “Luxury Light.”  HUSA brands…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 10
Tho AB still near 62 share of total convenience store biz, according to ACNielsen, it is underperforming Miller and Coors so far this yr in this key channel, not to mention imports and craft.  So many competitors and social/business trends are aimed at AB’s store dominance that it has become increasingly difficult to protect.  There’s general trend towards trading up and variety among consumers.  Then there’s c-stores’ profit challenges (down 23.5% in 06 according to Natl Assn of Convenience Stores), which leads c-store operators to emphasize higher margin products.  How does that translate in mkt?  AB down 0.5% in c-stores thru Apr 21 and it lost 1.2 share of volume, 1.4 share of $$, sez ACNielsen.  Total beer biz in c-stores up 1.4% yr-to-date, tho down 0.8% for 4 weeks (AB down 2.3% last 4 weeks).  Miller up 1% and lost just 0.1 share of volume in c-stores YTD.  Coors up 4% and gained 0.2 share.  Imports, crafts each up double digits.  Indeed, imports gained 1.3 share of $$ YTD.  Unlike supers, where Modelo brands down, Modelo $$ up 18% in c-stores YTD and it gained 0.6 share of $$ to 5.3.  Heineken USA up 19% and gained 0.5 share…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 9
Positive news for beer biz in 1st qtr supermkt trends reported by IRI.  Following 0.6% volume drop in 06, volume started 07 relatively strong in channel: +1% YTD thru Mar 25, with 2.7% pop in last 4 wks.  Meanwhile, avg prices up 3-3.5% industry-wide, with import and craft pricing up slightly more than that.  That meant $$ sales up healthier 4.1% YTD and 6%+ in March.  AB and Miller volume both down slightly YTD, -0.1%, -1.2% respectively.   But AB up 1.2% for 4 wks and Miller up 0.5%.  IRI includes acquired brands with AB and Miller for both yrs, 07 and 06.  AB and Miller trends would look better if scanner data only included brands since they were acquired.  Coors solid: up 4-6%.  Premium lights performing well for top 3 YTD: Bud Light +5%, Lite +3% and Coors Light up 5% (that’s volume).  Each gained share YTD as premium light segment up 4%+ and gained 1 share.  But AB still down a half-share overall YTD as its other major brands lost share (Bud, Bud Select, Busch, Nat Lt) or held (Busch Lt).  Ditto at Miller as High Life, MGD, Best family lost share.  Coors gained 0.3-0.4 share these periods as…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 7