Category Cools in Latest Nielsen

Dear Client:

It appears whatever magic beer had at the start of this year has already worn off.

Beer volumes are down 0.9% in the latest four weeks to February 9 in Nielsen all outlet scans, knocking the YTD trend to only up 1.1%.

FMBs AND SUPER PREMIUMS CONTINUE TO SHINE, up 17.8% and 14.3%, respectively. In fact, half of Nielsen’s Top 10 Growth Brands during the frame belonged to these two segments.

Outside of FMBs and super premiums, however, there aren’t a whole lot of bright spots to point out as far as segments go.

A HANDFUL OF BIG NAME IMPORTS IN THE RED. Imports are up, but it isn’t the type of growth we’re used to from them, up 3.2% over the frame. Indeed, there were some big name imports down in the red during the four weeks, including: Corona Extra, Heineken, Stella Artois, Dos Equis and Corona Light.

CIDER NOT AS EXPLOSIVE. Cider is one of the other few segments in the black, up 1.8%, and the cider companies that experienced tremendous growth last year like Angry Orchard and Crispin are posting more modest gains in 2019, up 5.7% and 8% YTD, respectively.

TOP 10 PREMIUM BRANDS ALL DOWN. Meanwhile, premium lights and premium regulars are both down mid-single digits. Nielsen’s Top 10 Premium brands were all down in the red for the four weeks, and Miller Lite is the only brand in the top ten still holding a positive YTD trend in 2019, up 1.2%.

CRAFT ALREADY IN A HOLE. Then craft is down 1.5% in the latest four weeks, enough to bring its YTD trend down into the red (-0.1%). Of the six craft franchises listed in this particular set, five of them were down: Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Shock Top and Leinenkugel Shandy. The only franchise to grow over the frame was New Belgium, up 2.6% over the four weeks and now up 1.4% YTD.

BREWER BREAKDOWN. When looking at suppliers, Mike’s continues to lead the way from a growth standpoint by a hefty margin. The company was up a whopping 39.4% in volume for the four weeks, the next fastest grower was Diageo Beer Co., up 13.6%.
Boston Beer managed double-digit growth over the frame as well, up 12%. And Constellation posted 8.2% growth over the four weeks, but is still up double digits for the year (12.2%).

Elsewhere, A-B’s YTD trend is now flat for the year, after posting a 1.9% decline for the four weeks. And MillerCoors’ 2019 trends are now planted in the red, down 3.8% for the four weeks, and down 2.4% for the year.

WHEN IT COMES TO CATEGORY CASE SHARE: Constellation continued to outpace the major brewers (up 0.8 pts), followed by Mike’s (up 0.5 pts) and Boston (up 0.2 pts). The largest brewer declines came from A-B (down 0.5 pts) and MillerCoors (down 0.8 pts).

AIN’T A WHOLE LOT OF BIG BRANDS GROWING. We already told you that the top ten premium brands were all down for the four weeks, but here’s another interesting stat: Seven of the top ten above premium brands in Nielsen declined over the four weeks.
Corona Extra, Heineken, Stella Artois, Dos Equis, and Blue Moon were all down low to mid-single digits. While Bud Light Platinum and Corona Light both dropped by double digits over the frame.

The only three top 10 above premium brands to grow during the four weeks? Take a wild guess: Michelob Ultra, up 16.2%; Modelo Especial, up 10.7%; and Corona Familiar, up 59.2%, which we would note is a ways off of its YTD trend, up 93.2%.

More news to share this afternoon.

Until then,

Harry, Jenn, and Jordan

“Generosity with strings is not generosity; It is a deal.”
– Marya Mannes

———- Sell Day Calendar ———-
Today’s Sell Day: 14
Sell days this month: 20
Sell days this month last year: 20
This month ends on a: Thurs.
This month last year ended on a: Wed.
YTD sell days Over/Under: +1