Dear Client: How about a fast-growing beer that isn’t a seltzer, a Mexican import or Mich Ultra?  That’s 95-calorie Blue Moon LightSky, the brand that had a lot of distributors buzzing at Molson Coors’ 2020 spring meeting. Now supply can actually meet demand, brand chiefs tell us. So they’re prepping for a huge summer selling … Continue reading “How LightSky Will Follow its Debut Blockbuster Year”

Dear Client: We caught up with our good buddy John Lane of Winking Lizard Tavern earlier this month, quizzing him on his outlook for the 20-ish unit sports bar concept he operates in Ohio.  The short answer to his outlook? He’s very bullish on the year, despite some logistical challenges. Business is almost back to … Continue reading “This Ohio Sports Bar Chain Chief Is Very Bullish on ’21”

Dear Client: Remember in the old days when a big brewer (or any big CPG company) would survey the land from on high in their oak-panelled offices in St. Louis/Milwaukee/Golden — or more likely in sleek glass conference rooms on Madison Avenue — and come up with a new product idea based on market research, … Continue reading “Grokking the New Marketing Paradigm”

Dear Client: Topo Chico Hard Seltzer started rolling out on March 29, to a handful of territories (but high spotting in its American home market of Texas).  Here in Texas, we’ve encountered frenzied shopping of displays of the new hard seltzer launch at retail, and whispers of a fast start, everywhere we inquire.  FIRST WEEK: … Continue reading “Topo Seltzer Off Like a Rocketship; Inventory Thin”

Dear Client: A lot of people don’t realize the sheer size of Boston Beer’s Twisted Tea business. It’s the fourth largest brand in the RTD/FMB space, behind White Claw Seltzer, Truly Seltzer, and the Mike’s Hard Lemonade franchise (in that order).  And yet, despite its large size, and the fact that it’s old enough to … Continue reading “Twisted Tea Gears Up for its Biggest Year Yet”

Dear Client: If you’ve been following along with BBD, then there wasn’t a whole lot of new news on Constellation’s earnings call yesterday. Much of Constellation chief Bill Newlands’ opening comments were covered by BBD last month following the company’s Gold Network Summit – i.e. marketing plans for Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, and coming innovation for … Continue reading “On-Premise Only 6% of Constellation’s Beer Business and Other Tidbits”

Dear Client: Constellation’s fourth quarter and full year results for its fiscal 2021 are in. So how’d the company’s beer business fare?  Not too shabby, per usual. Constellation’s beer business posted depletion growth of 6.4% in its fourth quarter (the three months ended February 28), and when adjusted for one less selling day in the … Continue reading “Constellation Moving on from Mexicali and More Q4 Highlights”

Dear Client: You will recall, malt/beer-based RTDs/Seltzers/FMBs enjoy a significant federal excise tax differential (as well as in all states) compared to their wine and spirits based counterparts. (FET is $1.31 a case for beer/malt base, $2.41 a case for wine base, and $3.04 a case for spirits base). In addition, most states have stricter … Continue reading “Jim Koch Gives the Industry a Wake-Up Call”

Dear Client: On Monday, Molson Coors hosted a virtual Summer Kick Off meeting to preview some of their big campaigns and innovations for summer. We bring you the highlights here.  COORS LIGHT BECOMES “OFFICIAL BEER OF SLOWING DOWN SUMMER.” CMO Michelle St. Jacques started the meeting previewing the media plans for their biggest brands in … Continue reading “MSJ Outlines Big Brand Campaigns for Summer”

Dear Client: Yesterday, Constellation filed a motion in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York to dismiss the claims Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Grupo Modelo brought against their Corona Hard Seltzer brand in February.  Recall, Grupo Modelo alleged that Constellation’s usage of Corona as a hard seltzer brand violates the parties’ 2013 agreement allowing Constellation to … Continue reading “Constellation Files Motion to Dismiss Suit Against Corona Hard Seltzer”

Dear Client: Where last month’s distributor “gut check” revealed a “sunny skies” outlook from most wholesalers, with many “up” so far this year [see BBD 03-26-2021], our continued dive into the state of the union revealed plenty of headwinds for the group, too.  To start: Even though many cited seltzers, FMBs and RTDs continue to … Continue reading “Distributors Wary of Excessive Inventory and Innovation”

Dear Client: Could Constellation pass Molson Coors in the off-premise this year? It would be tough, but the gap between the number two brewer in the off-premise (Molson Coors) and the number three player (Constellation) is getting a little thin in the latest IRI scans, particularly in convenience. Molson Coors still has a decent leg … Continue reading “Could Constellation Pass Molson Coors in the Off-Premise This Year?”

Dear Client: The first week results are in for Anheuser-Busch’s latest hard seltzer play, CACTI, and it’s already shaping up to be one of the brewer’s most successful hard seltzer launches yet. Indeed, when it comes to first week rate of sale for an A-B seltzer variety pack – CACTI is the best yet. The … Continue reading “CACTI a Top 5 Seltzer Brand After One Week of Sales”

Dear Client: The impact of last year’s pantry loading comps are apparent in the latest cut of Nielsen scans. Trends for the latest four weeks to March 20 in Nielsen’s all outlet scans are, for the most part, an absolute shell of YTD trends.  For instance, total beer volumes are up 4% YTD through March … Continue reading “Beer Runs Into a Comp-crete Wall”

Dear Client: The latest big brewer to acknowledge they might have an issue heading into peak selling season? Diageo Beer Company. In a note to distributors over the weekend, DBC chief Nuno Teles said the company continues “to experience out of stocks on [its] FMB portfolio.” And despite all the steps they’re taking to correct … Continue reading “Diageo Beer Sets Expectations For Supply of Smirnoff FMBs over Summer”