Dear Client:  It was touch and go there for a moment. But the temporary federal excise tax reduction which was passed in 2017, is now permanent, as President Trump late last night signed it into law.  “With his signature, the excise tax relief secured in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will permanently continue, providing … Continue reading “ALERT: Federal Excise Tax Reduction Now Officially Permanent”

The following is an alert from our sister publication, Wine & Spirits Daily Dear Client: No rest for the weary. Nearly two years and a few revisions later, the Federal Trade Commission has accepted the proposed consent order for Constellation to divest a portfolio of wine and spirits brands under $11 as well related facilities in California, … Continue reading “Constellation / Gallo Deal Receives Clearance from the FTC”

Dear Client:  Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is doing all it can to pay down it’s heavy debt after acquiring SABMiller, has announced its decision to sell 49.9% of its U.S. metal can plants for around $3 billion to a “consortium of institutional investors led and/or advised by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO).”   As … Continue reading “A-B Sells Minority Stake in Can Plants”

Dear Client:  Amid the new on-premise shutdowns ordered by state and local governments due to another wave of Covid sweeping the country, one prominent beer industry exec, whom you know (Hint: his name rhymes with Eat Doors), sent me a message last week indicating his opinion that enough is enough.  “The only solution is mass … Continue reading “Eat Doors: The Coming Lockdown Backlash”

Dear Client:  In our wide-ranging conversation with Marcel Marcondes this week, A-B ’s CMO highlighted some key brand gains and pivots during this tumultuous year, and gave us a couple of hints of what may be in store for 2021.  As we covered briefly earlier this fall, A-B pivoted toward heavy focus on digital and … Continue reading “A-B Marketing Hinges On a Handful of Disruptive Trends”

Dear Client:  If you are a BBD reader, you know CACTI as that hard-to-keep secret seltzer brand that A-B is cookin’ up in partnership with megastar rapper/model/cultural icon, Travis Scott. As we’ve written previously, the agave seltzer play is a little higher octane than most seltzers, at 7% ABV.  With that higher alcoholic proposition comes … Continue reading “CACTI Agave Spiked Seltzer is a Top Three Seltzer Play for A-B”

Dear Client:  The problem with arbitration is that it can sometimes lack “teeth.” That’s why we’re still here grokking the Pepsi/VPX suit(s), even though PepsiCo says arbitration has already gone their way.  Recall, PepsiCo says it has already won an interim ruling from the arbitrator, which ordered Bang to “stop breaching the parties’ distribution agreement … Continue reading “PepsiCo Asks Courts to Bite Down on Bang”

Dear Client:  A few weeks ago, after we’d penned probably the 100th or so issue of BBD with some seltzer coverage, a reader wrote in asking if we could just catalogue all the major seltzer players and recent extensions, because it’s getting hard to keep them all straight. We thought that was a pretty good … Continue reading “Your Seltzer Brand Cheat Sheet”

Dear Client:  Couple weeks ago, we reported on Drizly’s second big independent retailer survey. Its key findings predict continued e-commerce acceleration: The 500 independent retailers they surveyed have seen big boosts to both online and in-store sales since March, with 70% reporting higher in-store sales and 78% reporting higher online sales.  We got Drizly CEO … Continue reading “Drizly Chief on Alcohol’s “Whole Foods/Amazon Moment””

Lots of action in the Bang v. PepsiCo case in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In the last couple of days, both parties have filed dueling expedited motions that contradict each other.  Recall, earlier this week we reported Pepsi’s recent filing, revealing the parties have already been in binding arbitration, and … Continue reading “Pepsi and Bang Make Dueling Motions … Something’s Gotta Happen Soon”

Dear Client:  A-B has communicated it will not be able to ship all the Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer demanded in certain areas during its first week (early January) due to outsized demand from wholesalers, BBD has learned.    “They dropped our forecast for the first week from 15,000 to 4,871 for the Organic Seltzer,” one source … Continue reading “Mich Ultra Seltzer Shipments Spread Thin Due to Demand”

Dear Client:  We all saw this coming. After Constellation, Diageo, New Belgium, and others “shadow terminated” several distributors in California in favor of moving to Reyes Beverage Group over the last two years, many of the remaining distributors decided they’d had enough and determined that their formidable and long-running state association, the California Beer and … Continue reading “California Distributors Break From Reyes/CBBD, Create New Association”

Dear Client:  After yesterday’s story detailing provisions of both exclusive and non-exclusive contracts that Bang parent Vital Pharmaceuticals is shopping around to beer wholesalers [see BBD 12-07-2020], several wrote in.  What we can promise you, based on this feedback: Distributors (and their lawyers) are negotiating these agreements, and trying to secure more “indemnities.” They’re pushing … Continue reading “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: VPX Proposes Hard Seltzer Contract”

Dear Client:  And it’s a doozy. Actually, there are two versions out there, at least two that we’ve eyeballed. As you will recall, Vital Pharmaceuticals, the owner of Bang Energy, is actively courting its former beer distributor network to transition its brands back from PepsiCo after publicly terminating them last month (see BBD 11-18-2020). They … Continue reading “Grokking the Bang Distributor Agreement”

Dear Client:  What could Mike’s Hard Lemonade/Mark Anthony Brands possibly say in a follow-up meeting to their big September shindig? They’ve already announced their biggest new plant buildout to date, in South Carolina; and big new launches for White Claw (Iced Tea) and Mike’s Hard (Lemonade Seltzer) next year.  How about giant media investments and … Continue reading “Mark Anthony Set to Flex Its Innovation and Marketing Muscles in 2021”