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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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2006 was easily biggest growth yr for import shipments ever: up 3.8 mil bbls, 14.7%, according to US govt data compiled by Beer Inst.  How big was it?  Consider imports never gained 3 mil bbls in any previous yr and over 2 mil bbls only in 1998 and 2000.  But put an asterisk next to a portion of gain.  Key importers really piled beer into their US satellite warehouses and distribution centers at end of 06 it seems.  Imports gained 1.6 mil bbls, 27% in 4th qtr alone, including an unreal 39% gain in Dec.  That’s gonna make for a helluva comp in 4th qtr 07.  With late surge, imports grabbed fully 14 share of US shipments, up 1.5 in 2006.  Imports up 17 mil bbls and gained 8 share since 1996, while total US beer biz up 18 mil bbls for 10 yrs.  More than ever, Mexican and Dutch shipments dominated.  Topped 70 share for 1st time.  Hit 71.6, up 2.1 and got 85% of growth.  Mexican shipments up 2.2 mil bbls, 19% and climbed to 47.5 share of all imports.  But shipments pace into US several points faster than depletions.  Each of Gambrinus and Barton reported 12% sales-to-retailer…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 4
While top 3 brewers lost share of shipments overall, sizable $$ share losses in key channels even more pronounced, especially in supers.  For example, each of AB and Miller lost 1 full share of $$ in supers in 2006 (excluding Walmart), according to IRI.  AB $$ sales even and Miller’s down 3.5%.  That put AB under 40 share (39.8) and Miller under 17 (16.6).  Meanwhile, Coors $$ up 0.9%, but it still lost 0.3 share to 10.3.  Since 2001, Miller lost the most share in supers: down 3.2 share of $$, while AB and Coors each lost half a share or so.  Pabst also off 1.3.  Contrast with fast-growing craft and imports: gained 2.4 share of $$ between ‘em to 26.8 in 06.  That’s virtually same as Miller and Coors combined (1-2 points larger in recent periods).  Import $$ up 10.9% and gained 1.6 share to fully 20.8 share.  Craft beers grew even more rapidly.  Up 18% and gained 0.8 share to 6.  Throw in malternatives at 4 share, down 0.1% for yr and hi-end segments almost 31 share of $$ in supers in 2006.  In last 5 yrs, imports gained 4 share of $$, craft gained 1.3 and malternatives…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 2
When Calif franchise law didn’t pass in final hours of 2005 legislative session, no one envisioned ensuing maelstrom of events in 2006 in terms of brands changing hands. But with AB buying Rolling Rock, getting rights to Grolsch, Miller buying McKenzie River and most importantly, AB getting the InBev brands, many non-AB Calif distribs battered by brand losses in 06/07. Some only marginally profitable and/or heavily indebted even before these losses. In a few northern Calif mkts, AB distribs will have 70-80% of margin pool. Making matters worse, in absence of franchise law, acquiring distribs frequently offer just 1x gross profit, not fair market value. Other states without franchise protection in similar boat, but in most of those, brands in flux don’t have volume and therefore impact they do in Calif. So tho Calif a dream for many in hi-end beer biz, brand switchin’ becoming more like a nightmare for a number of distribs. AB sent termination letters (as of Jan 12) to non-AB InBev distribs in 4 states (Calif, HI, Colo, Alas) and DC in Dec offering 1x GP “for your cooperation.” With this latest hit, already there is one Calif lawsuit and talk of others. Premium Brands of…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2007
  • Volume 38
  • Issue # 1
Despite tuff comp -- Oct 05 import shipments up 21% -- Oct 06 imports soared.  Up 600,000-bbl, 28%.  That was best mo in yr of big gains.  Mexican shipments surged 350,000 bbls, 35%, as Corona’s glass shortage apparently eased.  But that wasn’t all.  Heineken-driven Dutch shipments jumped 132,000 bbls, 28%.  Canadian shipments up just 22,000 bbls, 9%, but German and Belgian shipments each up nearly 50% in Oct.  Growth at retail continued to click along thru early Dec.  Import volume up 7.6% in supermkts for 4 wks thru Dec 3, according to IRI data reported by Morgan Stanley.  Craft grew at nearly double that pace: +14.9%.  Yr-to-date total import shipments up 2.7 mil bbls, 12.5%.  Gained 1.2 share.  In supers, volume up 8.8% YTD thru Dec 3.  Gained over 1+ share there too.  Craft up double-digits, picked up half-share or so.  How high is up for high end? 

Publishing Info

  • Year 2006
  • Volume 37
  • Issue # 23
First batch of 4th-qtr numbers suggest tuff but not terrible start to final period of 06.  Oct taxpaid shipments soft: -300,000 bbls, 2.1% despite fairly easy comp (flat in 05) and 1 more selling day.  Yet, despite virtually no growth since Mar, taxpaids still up 1.625 mil bbls, 1.1% YTD.  Nov-Dec last yr was flat.  No import shipments data available yet for 4th qtr, but comps kinda tuff in Oct (+21% last yr) and Nov (+13%), tho Dec down in 05.  STR trends for top 2 nuthin’ to shout about.  AB said on Nov 28 that Oct-Nov STRs even so far, down 0.8% excluding incremental volume from Rock, Grolsch, etc.  Miller spokesman sez Miller Lite numbers have “turned positive” since Oct 1.  (Recall Miller set goal of 5-pt improvement in Lite trend for 6 mos thru Mar 07 vs 6 mos thru Sep 06.)  Miller’s overall STR trend so far for Q4 slightly better than -5% reported for 3d qtr (excluding incremental McKenzie volume).  Coors STRs still runnin’ up, we hear, even as comps got tuffer.  Retail trends mixed.  C-store volume up healthy 4.6% for 4 wks thru Nov 4, reports ACNielsen, with imports and crafts flyin’ (up 27-29%). Even…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2006
  • Volume 37
  • Issue # 22
Molson and Coors been tryin’ to consolidate Molson brands with Coors distribs since they formed Molson USA back in 2001. Back in 01, Molson USA had 502 distribs in US, but only 176 were also Coors distribs then. By Jul 18, 06 Molson USA still had 452 distribs in US, but 85% or 384 were “Coors-aligned.” But only one deal done in key NY mkt, 30% of Molson’s biz in US. (Molson sold approx 740,000 bbls in US in 05.) Until now. Molson USA just won arbitration award allowing it to terminate upstate distrib Ryan under NY franchise law provision 55-c that considers natl consolidation policy a form of “good cause.” Parties have month or so to determine fair mkt value of lost distrib rights, or there will be 2d round of arbitration to determine price. In wake of decision 4 other NY Molson distribs on tap to lose brands and Molson will be left with 5 distribs in state. Recall Ryan tried to stop this process in 05, arguing NY franchise law prohibits arbitration requirement. But US Dist Ct ruled that 21st Amendment trumped by Fed Arbitration Act. Arbitrator found Molson USA made “good faith effort to fashion its…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2006
  • Volume 37
  • Issue # 21