Dear Client: Need more reasons to believe in not only seltzer, but also Boston Beer’s supremacy in it? Chief Dave Burwick had plenty to offer on Boston’s Q1 call last night.  Analysts tried to stump Dave and Boston founder Jim Koch on seltzer’s continued run rate: ‘What about all the new entrants? And deceleration?’ But … Continue reading “Everything’s Still Gravy for Truly in Seltzerland”

Dear Client: Dos Equis’ “interesting” marketing run — which began in 2006 with tall tales about The Most Interesting Man in the World, and evolved into embellished stories between friends in the brand’s most recent campaign, “Keep it Interesante” — is officially ending. That’s right, the brand is finally making a fresh start on its … Continue reading “Dos Equis Delivers “A Dos” of New Marketing”

Dear Client: In early March, Constellation announced it would consolidate its route to market for wine and spirits products through Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The bev alc company said it would align about 70% of that end of the portfolio to the giant wholesaler, up from 40%.  Now, Constellation’s big bet on cannabis, Canopy … Continue reading “Constellation Chooses Southern Glazer’s over Beer Wholesalers for U.S. CBD Beverages”

Dear Client: The Package Mix Report for total beer supply (domestic and imports) is in from the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association Department of Industry Affairs – and as you could probably guess… 2020 was a devastating year for draft and an incredible year for cans.   But here’s a question for you: … Continue reading “Cans Made Up Two-Thirds of Beer Package Mix in 2020”

Dear Client: Remember Anheuser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab a Beer” ads from the Super Bowl? You know, the 90-second spot featuring a montage of friends commiserating, cracking A-B brews amid various keystone (or even low-key) occasions: a wedding, a funeral, a boardroom, an airport, a bowling alley, a kitchen after dinner service. It signed off, “Anheuser-Busch: To … Continue reading “A-B’s “North Star” for Summer Marketing: Not Normal, but “Better””

Dear Client: How about a fast-growing beer that isn’t a seltzer, a Mexican import or Mich Ultra?  That’s 95-calorie Blue Moon LightSky, the brand that had a lot of distributors buzzing at Molson Coors’ 2020 spring meeting. Now supply can actually meet demand, brand chiefs tell us. So they’re prepping for a huge summer selling … Continue reading “How LightSky Will Follow its Debut Blockbuster Year”

Dear Client: We caught up with our good buddy John Lane of Winking Lizard Tavern earlier this month, quizzing him on his outlook for the 20-ish unit sports bar concept he operates in Ohio.  The short answer to his outlook? He’s very bullish on the year, despite some logistical challenges. Business is almost back to … Continue reading “This Ohio Sports Bar Chain Chief Is Very Bullish on ’21”

Dear Client: Remember in the old days when a big brewer (or any big CPG company) would survey the land from on high in their oak-panelled offices in St. Louis/Milwaukee/Golden — or more likely in sleek glass conference rooms on Madison Avenue — and come up with a new product idea based on market research, … Continue reading “Grokking the New Marketing Paradigm”

Dear Client: Topo Chico Hard Seltzer started rolling out on March 29, to a handful of territories (but high spotting in its American home market of Texas).  Here in Texas, we’ve encountered frenzied shopping of displays of the new hard seltzer launch at retail, and whispers of a fast start, everywhere we inquire.  FIRST WEEK: … Continue reading “Topo Seltzer Off Like a Rocketship; Inventory Thin”

Dear Client: A lot of people don’t realize the sheer size of Boston Beer’s Twisted Tea business. It’s the fourth largest brand in the RTD/FMB space, behind White Claw Seltzer, Truly Seltzer, and the Mike’s Hard Lemonade franchise (in that order).  And yet, despite its large size, and the fact that it’s old enough to … Continue reading “Twisted Tea Gears Up for its Biggest Year Yet”

Dear Client: If you’ve been following along with BBD, then there wasn’t a whole lot of new news on Constellation’s earnings call yesterday. Much of Constellation chief Bill Newlands’ opening comments were covered by BBD last month following the company’s Gold Network Summit – i.e. marketing plans for Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, and coming innovation for … Continue reading “On-Premise Only 6% of Constellation’s Beer Business and Other Tidbits”

Dear Client: Constellation’s fourth quarter and full year results for its fiscal 2021 are in. So how’d the company’s beer business fare?  Not too shabby, per usual. Constellation’s beer business posted depletion growth of 6.4% in its fourth quarter (the three months ended February 28), and when adjusted for one less selling day in the … Continue reading “Constellation Moving on from Mexicali and More Q4 Highlights”

Dear Client: You will recall, malt/beer-based RTDs/Seltzers/FMBs enjoy a significant federal excise tax differential (as well as in all states) compared to their wine and spirits based counterparts. (FET is $1.31 a case for beer/malt base, $2.41 a case for wine base, and $3.04 a case for spirits base). In addition, most states have stricter … Continue reading “Jim Koch Gives the Industry a Wake-Up Call”

Dear Client: On Monday, Molson Coors hosted a virtual Summer Kick Off meeting to preview some of their big campaigns and innovations for summer. We bring you the highlights here.  COORS LIGHT BECOMES “OFFICIAL BEER OF SLOWING DOWN SUMMER.” CMO Michelle St. Jacques started the meeting previewing the media plans for their biggest brands in … Continue reading “MSJ Outlines Big Brand Campaigns for Summer”

Dear Client: Yesterday, Constellation filed a motion in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York to dismiss the claims Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Grupo Modelo brought against their Corona Hard Seltzer brand in February.  Recall, Grupo Modelo alleged that Constellation’s usage of Corona as a hard seltzer brand violates the parties’ 2013 agreement allowing Constellation to … Continue reading “Constellation Files Motion to Dismiss Suit Against Corona Hard Seltzer”