Dear Client: FIFCO USA’s decision to zig while others zag seems to be paying off. Recall, instead of joining the swarms of brewers rushing into the sizzling spiked seltzer segment, FIFCO USA opted to create a similar yet different space with Pura Still, a line of spiked still water. The brand, which rolled out nationally … Continue reading “Pura Still, the Real Deal?”

Dear Client: Late last year, Anheuser-Busch quietly began testing a stateside version of a highly popular beer brand in South America, Cerveza Patagonia. Now, they’ve made the call to take the brand to more regions throughout the U.S. in an effort to disrupt the one segment they’ve had a tough time cracking – imports. BACKGROUND. … Continue reading “A-B Seeks to Shake Up Import Segment with Cerveza Patagonia”

Dear Client: MillerCoors’ chief Gavin Hattersley wasn’t blowing smoke when he said they plan to move faster and take more risks in 2019 and beyond. Case in point: In addition to their imminent Cape Line launch, MillerCoors will “launch at least four other new items” in the next six months, MillerCoors VP of innovation Sofia … Continue reading “MillerCoors Getting into the Wine and Hard Coffee Biz”

Dear Client: It didn’t take long for the corn talk to start at MillerCoors’ Distributor Convention in Tampa yesterday morning. We had our first corn reference about 15 seconds in. Chief Gavin Hattersley cracked a joke as he took the stage to kick things off, welcoming the crowd of 3,000 to MillerCoors’ “CORNvention.” It was … Continue reading “MillerCoors Believes it Can Win the War Against A-B, Here’s How”

Dear Client: Yesterday the Brewers Association put out its latest tally of top breweries by beer volume. The real action is often in the BA-defined craft-only list; these brands are on smaller bases, which of course means more rank movement from year to year. The list of top brewers overall is a lot more static. … Continue reading “Diageo Beer Co. Jumps FIFCO USA in Latest Top Brewer List”

Dear Client: We brought you some top-line highlights from the Gold Network Summit last week in Dallas, Constellation’s big yearly show for distributors. We can regurgitate show details — about innovations, about Modelo’s skyward trajectory, about Bill Hackett’s tear-jerking sendoff — all day. But there’s one more vital component to know: What did the distributors … Continue reading “What Did Distributors Think of Constellation’s Big Show?”

Dear Client: Another deal for a multi-generational wholesaler went down last week in Tennessee, this one including beer and non-alcs. Ajax Distributing Company of Memphis announced Friday the acquisition of Memphis and Shelby County MillerCoors distributor, BarDett Distributing (“A.S. Barboro”). Ajax told BBD the transaction would more than double their current volumes. Ajax covers 10 … Continue reading “In Tennessee, Another Generational Wholesaler Deal”

Dear Client: February has followed January’s robust Beer Purchaser’s Index with an even better showing: The NBWA-tracked measure of 60.7 far outpaced the 2018 measure of 49. Recall this index is a measure of distributor purchases. Readings higher than 50 represent category expansion, and below that benchmark, represent contraction. IMPORTS STILL EXPANDING, BUT NOT AS … Continue reading “The Changing Import Dynamic”

Dear Client: Constellation Beer kicked off their Gold Network distributor meeting this week in Dallas. We were not there, but as usual our readers are our best reporters, so here are a few highlights. First, we are sad to report a tearful goodbye to former Constellation Beers chief Bill Hackett. Bill and I didn’t see … Continue reading “Farewell, Bill Hackett”

Dear Client: Alcohol delivery service Drizly plans to expand and enter the cannabis market later this year. As previously reported by Wine & Spirits Daily, the company didn’t exactly officially announce these upcoming plans, rather, the news came to light after Drizly filed suit against former CEO and co-founder Nick Rellas for violating a non-compete … Continue reading “Lawsuit Shines Light on Drizly’s Plans to Enter Cannabis Space”

Dear Client: Jorge Paulo Lemann, the billionaire co-founder of 3G Capital, famously copped last year to being a “terrified dinosaur” in the face of so much disruption in consumer goods. Of course, 3G has shareholders in common with ABI. But before one dismisses $55 billion ABI as another giant, bumbling reptile shadowing the seeds of … Continue reading “A Peek at a ZX Pilot: Saturday Session Wine”

Dear Client: Good news from January state shipments: volumes grew 1%, per BI data. On a weak base. That’s the second consecutive month of growth. And looking at a 12-month time frame, beer shipment volumes were only down 0.6%. That’s “the smallest decline since February 2017,” per BI. (This may have provided some lift, at … Continue reading “Jan State Shipments Volume Up 1%”

Dear Client: There wasn’t a whole lot of talk on the U.S. in ABI’s earnings call yesterday, but there were a few nuggets. Most importantly, Anheuser-Busch doesn’t wish to be painted with the tainted Kraft Heinz brush, which is where the financial press has been heading this week. So as we pointed out previously, they’re … Continue reading “ABI Trying Not to Copy Kraft Heinz Mistakes”

Dear Client: This just in: BBD has received word from alert distributors that A-B is placing ingredient panels on the packaging of at least one other brand, in apparent response to criticism by MillerCoors and others about not being transparent with their other brands. Bud Light Orange is already hitting distributor warehouses this week featuring … Continue reading “A-B Placing Ingredients Panels on At Least One Other Bud Light Line Extension”

For all the hoopla the Super Bowl corntroversy stirred up, there ain’t a whole lot of change in the premium light segment.