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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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The high end is still where growth's at in beer and indeed alc bevs as talks by AB's High End mktg veep Andy Goeler and Constellation Brands wine prexy Marty Birkel underscored at North Carolina beer and wine distribs meeting this week. AB has bought 8 craft brewers, selling somewhere between 800K and 1 mil bbls (Andy used both #s, could be 2 different yrs). AB's High End Unit has 200 employees, about 150 salespeople and all are Cicerone trained, said Andy, "spreading the gospel of beer." This is "amazing time for beer," Andy said, with "new vibrancy" based on beer's "unmatched flavor potential," that is both "more versatile than wine" and "complex as liquor." Andy pointed to recent bottle of Goose Island's Madame Rose on sale at Chi restaurant the Publican for $55, like a fine wine. Beer biz has to "elevate the prestige of beer" and "continue building brands." Andy's talk also had somewhat surprising focus on disruption. Andy detailed disruptions wrought by Uber on taxis, cutting value of NYC medallions in half in 5 yrs, and Air B n B on hotels. Uber has mkt cap of $50 bil, Air B'n'B $25 bil. AB clearly paying very…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 47
  • Issue # 12
With extra day in Feb and very easy comps, domestic brewers' taxpaid shipments up 496K bbls, 2% for 2 mos. Leap Day led to 666K-bbl, 5.4% surge in Feb, estimates Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich. That wiped out soft Jan (-170K bbls) and then some. Actually, 2% gain kind of a no-brainer; taxpaids took a 6% hit Jan-Feb last yr. But we'll take it. Tack on Jan import gain of 130K bbls, 5.7% and known US shipments kicked off 2016 with 626K-bbl, 2.3% increase. At same time, state shipments (different measure) up 540K bbls, 1.8%, Jan-Feb, Michael estimates. Calif, NY and several big Midwest mkts off to slow start, but Fla solid, Pennsy strong and Tex up slightly. "The trends across states are reflecting the positive signs we're seeing at the national level," Michael told INSIGHTS, adding: "36 states are now showing positive 12 month trends - that's the most states in the black in over three years." Off-premise biz up 2.2% thru Mar 19, sez Nielsen.  

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 47
  • Issue # 7
Constellation Brands Beer Division's ambitious plans go well beyond doubling with fast-growing imports. As detailed at Gold Network Summit, CBBD seeks to cement status as "high end leader" with increased investment and innovation in new areas. "Our plans are to further accelerate the growth and keep this momentum going," said CBBD chief commercial officer Bruce Jacobson, with "even greater investment." Constellation sells top 2 imports, Corona Extra and Modelo Especial. They grew 20 mil cases last yr (see below). And it just put "$1 billion toe" in craft waters with acquisition of Ballast Point, noted new CBBD prexy Paul Hetterich. CBBD just "getting started" in craft, added Paul and "we've got more to do." But "can't ignore fact" that it has a "goose egg" in FMBs and superpremiums, noted Bruce. Paul also pointed to "a lot of white space" in superpremiums, where he expects "more sessionable big brands to evolve over time." And FMB segment, tho "constantly shifting," also "keeps getting bigger...we need to tackle that" too, said Paul, somewhere down road. "FMBs, new flavors, new styles, line extensions," said chief mktg officer Jim Sabia, "We are working on all these things." At same time, current portfolio will get "more…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 47
  • Issue # 5
Global company created by AB InBev purchase of SABMiller will be by far largest brewer in world, over 3x as big as #2 Heineken. It will sell about 530-535 mil bbls of beer, excluding SABMiller's US volume, compared to Heineken's "group volume" of 169 mil bbls in 2014, including associates/JVs. Co will also rank #1 worldwide in earnings among all consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. EBITDA will be estimated $24 bil based on latest fiscal yr data, according to AB InBev. How big is that? That's $4 bil ahead of #2 Nestle and nearly 2X Coke and Pepsico. And it will earn 6x as much as Heineken, 10x as much as Molson Coors after it buys rest of MC. With $64 bil in revs, newco will be #4 in CPG-land, tied with Unilever, behind only Nestle, P&G and Pepsico. By the way, Newco is name of holding company created to buy SABMiller as "best way to merge UK and Belgian companies," ABI ceo Brito said. But so far "we haven't spent a second thinking about" naming brewing/beverage co that will result, he told INSIGHTS. This is historic and altogether massive deal, but it ain't really about the US. Much more…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2015
  • Volume 46
  • Issue # 22
Constellation paid approx $1 bil for Ballast Point, perhaps this yr's hottest craft brewer. That's whopping 8.7x projected 2015 revs of $115 mil, or over $3500 per bbl and quite possibly over 30x this yr's EBITDA (2015 EBITDA figure not given, tho Ballast Point oper income at $25 mil thru Sep.) Constellation projected mid-to-high teens multiple for next yr's earnings-clearly expecting big growth. Ballast Point had filed to go public with SEC. It more than doubled thru Sep to 199,000 bbls. It expects to sell 4 mil cases (290,000 bbls, not 280,000 INSIGHTS had written previously) in 2015. But Ballast Point dropped its IPO and took the cash. Who can blame 'em? Could this be apex in craft deals and craft valuation? It capped a crazy yr of frenzied deal activity. Fittingly it's the first one to hit the $1 bil mark (Lagunitas close). In spring of 2011, Goose Island sold for just $38.8 mil (it was about same size in 2010 as Ballast Point in 2014). That's about 4% of the price Ballast Point got 4.5 yrs later. This yr, we've tracked nearly 20 craft transactions so far, for part or all of craft brewers. So craft landscape too…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2015
  • Volume 46
  • Issue # 23
Tho industry volume has easier "comp" in 2d half, -1% volume decline for 1st 7 mos not likely to be overcome, according to Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich. So despite anticipated improvement over next few mos, full yr shipments now expected to be down about 0.5%, projects Michael. That would basically undo 2014 gain. Better news: current tailwinds, especially growing young male employment, expected to improve 2016 trend. For first time in awhile, Beer Inst also provided peek into industry depletion trends, based on supplier input and projections. Overall depletions down 1.1% yr-to-date thru Jun with on-premise -3.4%, off-premise off 0.6%. Running 12-mo trend about the same, with total biz -1%, on-premise -3.2% and off-premise -0.5%. While BI probably doesn't have great visibility into smaller craft brewers' growth, the negative sales-to-retailer trends for 6 and 12-mos suggest it's still a slugfest out there, for a pie not growing. In calendar 2014, overall beer retail sales up $2.1 bil to $107.7 bil, Michael showed. Biz continues to shift to off-premise, despite expansion of brewpubs/taprooms in recent yrs. On-premise still majority of dollars (52.8) tho down to 17.5 share of volume. Restaurants grabbed near 23 share of total $$, Bars another 17.1…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2015
  • Volume 46
  • Issue # 17
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