Dear Client: How does Winking Lizard Tavern operator John Lane reflect on the past 19 or so months of COVID craziness, which shuttered restaurants, ruined supply chains and altered regular restaurant dayparts? At the moment, he sounds pretty optimistic.  “We’re coming out of it just fine,” John told BBD, whose 20-ish unit, Ohio-based sports bar … Continue reading “Winking Lizard Sees Patrons Act “Fundamentally Different””

Dear Client: Bump Williams Consulting singled out single-serves in its latest monthly update, highlighting how single-serve SKUs have had “a bounce back year” in 2021, “due in large part to the resurgence and rebirth of Convenience stores post Pantry-Loading and Working from Home.” BWC pointed out that while single-serve SKUs’ “rate of growth has remained … Continue reading “Spotlight on Single-Serves”

Dear Client: Distributor orders of the FMB/seltzer segment have sat in contraction territory for two straight months now, per the latest Beer Purchasers’ Index from the NBWA. The FMB/seltzer segment first dipped into contraction territory in September, with an index of 40, marking a massive 51-point drop from September 2020 when the segment posted a … Continue reading “FMB/Seltzer Takes “Another Dramatic Hit” in October BPI”

Dear Client: We wouldn’t have historically led a BBD with a non-alc story – a non-alc story from a craft producer, at that.  But times change. And in fact, five-year old Athletic Brewing Co. is one of the hottest craft brewers around. They were the absolute top-growing regional craft brewer of 2020, up 400% last … Continue reading “The World According to Bill Shufelt”

Dear Client: New ABI chief Michel Doukeris, now 100 days in, spent a lot of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Q3 call talking about the company’s digital transformation. Indeed, when one caller asked what Michel will do differently in leading the global beer giant, he identified the online world as one of three areas of focus: “Relentless execution; … Continue reading “ABI Chief Focuses Q3 Call on Company’s “Digital Transformation””

Dear Client: Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors once again reported quarterly results on the same day, and we busted out the Folgers to bring you the highlights.  Starting with A-B’s performance in the U.S., Q3 certainly marked the toughest quarter for A-B thus far in 2021.  After posting topline growth in the first (+5.4%) and … Continue reading “A-B and MC Depletions Down Around 5% in Q3; Both Cite Supply Chain Woes”

Dear Client: What’s it like jumping from the bev alc industry to the cannabis industry?  Bernstein analyst Nadine Sarwat recently sat down with Ion Bratianu, the sales director at Chicago-based cannabis producer and retailer Green Thumb Industries, to uncover just that. Ion – who spent more than a decade in bev alc, primarily in the … Continue reading “Jumping From Bev Alc to Cannabis Biz “A Lot Like Playing Baseball Under Water””

Dear Client: Ahead of big time earnings later this week, we thought we’d do a round of pulse-checking some of our top sources on what they’re seeing in the market.  The themes are the same that we’ve been reporting. Only, sources seem to think some key issues are perhaps extreme, and in some cases, enduring, … Continue reading “Truth Squadders on Worsening Supply Chain, Seltzer Buildup, Sticker Shock and More”

Dear Client: Lots of c-store innovations presented at the NACS show this year in Chicago, and for beer/seltzer the name of the game for 2022 appears to be more bold flavors (especially agave).   DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK. For Anheuser-Busch, that means Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, says Goldman Sachs analyst Bonnie Herzog in her … Continue reading “2022 C-Store Innovations Will Center Around Bold New Flavors (Like Bud Light Hard Seltzer Soda)”

Dear Client: Roughly a year ago, we predicted that agave and tequila-inspired seltzers of any base would be the next wave in the seltzer craze, and judging from all the big new bets from major players, we gotta say — we were spot on.  Here’s a smattering of just the last month or so’s new … Continue reading “Corona “Seltzerita” Testing in Texas, Set to Launch Nationally Early ’22″

Dear Client: As you’ll recall, earlier this month Yuengling terminated its New York distributor, Boening Brothers Dist. (the sister company to Oak Beverage, which Yuengling had already terminated).   Yuengling had indicated that it would rather have no distributor in the market than be with Boening, although one would assume that Yuengling would end up … Continue reading “Boening Accuses Manhattan Beer of “Price Fixing””

Dear Client: The latest batch of IRI data (running through October 3) is in and a few things stood out to us, like… AVG PRICE CONTINUES TO CLIMB. The average price per case of beer has been going up for years now in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience channel, but the hikes have gotten steeper as … Continue reading “What Caught Our Eye in Latest Scans”

Dear Client: Reyes has announced plans to acquire substantially all assets of Michigan-based Powers Distributing Co., a Constellation-Molson Coors-Boston house with other power brands like Heineken, Diageo, Red Bull and Mike’s (and plenty of craft, including Deschutes, Brooklyn, Shiner, Athletic and more).  The move marks Reyes’ entry into its ninth new state, where it is … Continue reading “Reyes Enters Ninth State with Purchase of Michigan’s Powers Distributing”

Dear Client: What do Anheuser-Busch (including Elysian Brewing), Molson Coors, Constellation, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, FIFCO, Gallo, Robert Mondavi, Bacardi, Diageo, Absolut, LVMH — and just about every other publicly traded CPG company and retailer including Walmart, Kroger, Target, Speedway, Walgreens, B-Dubs, Yard House, etc. — have in common? They all got “love letters” … Continue reading “FTC Puts Big Bev-Alc Companies on Notice: Stop Deceptive Ad Practices”

Dear Client: Early October’s NBWA show themes stressed the growing ranks of line-blurring brands vying for space on beer distributor trucks – and in cold boxes at retail, too.  Indeed, it’s hard to think of a timelier topic for the beer industry. Earlier in September, A-B category chief Amanda Tilley revealed some work they’ve been … Continue reading “A-B and Boston Beer on How to Merchandise Hard Beverages”