Dear Client: Between Tito’s, hard seltzers, and super premiums, traditional light beer  has a lot coming directly at their longnecks. Add another growing genre to the onslaught: craft light lagers. To that end, it’s been awhile since we’ve reported on Montucky Cold Snacks [see BBD 07-10-2018].  (Cold snacks is slang for cold beer in Montana. … Continue reading “It’s All About the Cold Snacks”

Dear Client: The total US non-alc beer market is less than 0.3% of its overall beer counterpart, at about $80 million to $29 billion (off premise, at least). That sounds small. But if you’ve been paying attention to millennials, or at least the Nielsen research around them, it’s growing. Millennials drink less beer than older … Continue reading “Non-Alc? Really?? Yes, Says Athletic Brewing Co.”

Dear Client: Break out your monocle and top hat, because the world’s largest c-store operator and the largest U.S. beer retailer, 7-Eleven, is about to get all fancy up in your grill. Much like beer, 7-Eleven wants to expand its “customer base to include more women, millennials and Gen Z,” the company told USA Today. … Continue reading “Thank Heaven: Largest Beer Retailer Going Upscale”

Dear Client: Look out: Amazon is on the hunt for “a booze business policy and lobbying expert,” reports the Washington Business Journal. The outlet dug up a job posting earlier this week that says the ecommerce giant is searching for a person to fill the newly-created role of manager of alcohol public policy. Whoever lands … Continue reading “Amazon Looking to Get Into the Bev-Alc Lobbying Game”

Dear Client: You’ve likely seen or heard about it by now, but Anheuser-Busch “broke the internet,” as Budweiser vp Ricardo Marques put it in a chat with BBD, with an online video featuring the now officially retired Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade titled “This Bud’s for Three,” referring to the future hall of famer’s jersey … Continue reading “The Day Bud Broke the Internet”

Dear Client: The craft beer segment needs more drinkers, fast. And they need those drinkers to drink more craft beer. While craft sits at 4% growth or about one million barrels a year — which is still impressive for such a large bev-alc category — that slowed growth is split amongst many more breweries and … Continue reading “Craft Beer’s Identity Crisis”

Dear Client: One of the biggest takeaways of the retailer panel at CBC, which featured a slew of Kroger (and its banners) beer assortment and category managers? They’re not so hot on larger craft packs. Not just the 15- and 18-packs; even 12 packs. “I wanna caution everyone on the larger packs,” said Matt Boyd, … Continue reading “Larger Craft Packs A Tough Sell to Kroger, and Other CBC Retail Panel Highlights”

Dear Client: After a full year of merger negotiations, huge wine and spirits distributors Breakthru Beverage and Republic National Distributing Co., as reported last week by my colleague Sarah Barrett at Wine & Spirits Daily. The reason both companies gave for the termination of negotiations, and the withdrawal of their antitrust filing with the FTC, … Continue reading “FTC Kiboshes Mega-Distributor Deal”

Dear Client: Our story on Tito’s Handmade Vodka last week, entitled Can We Get Serious Now?, received plenty of feedback.   If you missed it here was the main takeaway: Can we get serious about what is actually cutting into beer sales, particularly light beer sales? We can talk about cannabis and Netflix, health/wellness, and … Continue reading “Readers Weigh in on Beer Pressure Points”

Dear Client: Beer Institute economist Michael Uhrich did an industry update Thursday afternoon, to deliver this sobering tidbit: Without any macro changes on the horizon for GDP (up about 2.5%) and household incomes about the same, he predicts beer will again be down 1%-2% in 2019, in line with the last couple years. And while … Continue reading “BI Crystal Ball Says Beer Will Decline Again This year”

Dear Client: Constellation’s fiscal 2019 results are in. THE VITALS. The company’s beer business grew depletions by 8.8% over the year. Shipments were a notch ahead, up 9.7%. While net sales and operating income both grew double digits, up 11.6% and 11%, respectively. Other highlights from the fiscal year: Constellation’s beer portfolio remains the “#1 … Continue reading “Constellation Beer Depletions Up 8.8% in FY 2019”

Dear Client: I’ve spoken to three important entities in the last week:  The Association of Beverage Licensees, the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, and the New York Times. And under three very different contexts, one subject came up in all three discussions:  What is cutting into beer sales? I love the scene in the movie … Continue reading “Can We Get Serious Now?”

Dear Client: TTB has accepted a $2.5 million offer in compromise from Heineken USA “for alleged violations of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act,” the agency just reported. WHAT HAPPENED? First off: Heineken’s offer in compromise is not an admission of guilt (as alleged wrongdoing parties often offer monetary “OICs” in exchange for the TTB … Continue reading “TTB Accepts $2.5 Million Offer in Compromise from Heineken USA”

Dear Client: Last month’s VIBE conference highlighted some interesting stats on how drinkers switch categories when quaffing outside the home. About half of drinkers are not pre-committed to a category when going out. In other words, they’re not more likely to have one category over the other. Still, beer seems to have the most “stickiness”: … Continue reading “How Drinkers Choose Their Next Drink On Premise”

Dear Client: Well, it could be 70% of dollar share soon, says Constellation. Despite challenges in the low end, Constellation expects beer to continue to lead dollar growth for total beverage alcohol for the next three years. They project that the category, driven by its high end, will grow dollars 4%-6% between 2019-2021. This, via … Continue reading “How High Can High End Be?”