Dear Client: In our never-ending quest to share insights from top retailers, we bring you a concept whose trends we’ve not yet covered: Mellow Mushroom.  This fast-growing “upscale casual” pizza chain is expanding.  Its unique model features locations that all look and feel different, sometimes significantly so (except for the sorta stoner aesthetic. It is … Continue reading “No Evidence of Trade Down at this Upscale Casual Chain”

Dear Client: Boston Beer earnings hit yesterday, and with them, the almost inevitable guidance downshift. The company reported Q2 depletions down 7%, as per the prior quarter, and shipments down only 1.1% (where Q1 shipments had been down a whopping 25%). Only Twisted Tea and Hard MTN Dew contributed to positive depletion trends. The showing … Continue reading “Dave Burwick On What’s Eating Hard Seltzer and More”

Dear Client: It’s Tamarron time. The newest results of this wholesaler-on-supplier survey is out.  (Spoiler alert: Boston Beer got the highest composite score again.)  As always, the purpose of the “Brewer Partnership Compass” is to understand how distributors score supplier performance against supplier responsibilities; benchmark them against other suppliers; and “find opportunities” to improve the … Continue reading “Latest Tamarron Results Are In”

Dear Client: The latest week of IRI data to July 10 might be inflated from some favorable holiday timing (as the Fourth fell on a Monday this year vs. Sunday last year), but let’s revel in the numbers anyways.  After all, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen the total beer category up 4% … Continue reading “Beer Grows 4% in Juiced Week of Scans”

Dear Client: After A-B’s announcement last month that it would put Bud Light’s lead creative agency, Wieden + Kennedy, up for review, the brand has since whittled contenders to three —  Anomaly, Johannes Leonardo and The Martin Agency, “according to multiple people close to the situation,” per AdAge. The final decision will come this fall, … Continue reading “The Latest in Bud Light’s New Agency Conquest”

Dear Client:  High Noon is now the second largest spirits brand in the country — yes, that includes full-proof liquor brands including Tito’s, Jack Daniel’s, and Bacardi. The spirit-based RTD category has arrived in a big way. Tito’s has $14.6 million in sales, and High Noon hits after that, at almost $11 million. Then after … Continue reading “High Noon Now Second Largest Spirit Brand”

Dear Client: Want to know a company that’s really humming right now? Schilling Cider. The Pacific Northwest cidery grew about 50% last year, reaching 100,000 barrels, and it continues to crush in 2022. Schilling is and has been THE standout growth story in cider for a while now. It is completely bucking total cider trends, … Continue reading ““Sky’s the Limit” for Schilling Cider”

Dear Client: Today, Molson Coors is announcing that it will return to advertising on the national Super Bowl platform for the first time in more than 30 years.  It comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that Anheuser-Busch is ending its agreement as the exclusive alcohol advertiser for the Super Bowl, a deal A-B … Continue reading “Molson Coors Returns to Super Bowl Broadcast for First Time in More than 30 Years”

Dear Client: Off-premise tallies from the lead-up to the Fourth are in, and while the bev alc category failed to top last year’s performance, it was still a blowout week for booze. The week ending July 3 represented the 5th highest week of bev alc sales ever, raking in just over $1.624 billion, per IRI … Continue reading “Breaking Down Beer’s Blowout Fourth”

Dear Client: Constellation is set to launch Victoria’s first innovation in the U.S. this fall: Vicky Chamoy. The brand, which seeks to appeal primarily to Victoria’s core un-acculturated Hispanic consumer, will hit in 24 oz. cans, starting this September. It is slated to go national.  Based on sell sheets and other intel we’ve seen (from … Continue reading “Constellation Launching Victoria’s First U.S. Innovation: Vicky Chamoy”

Dear Client: Beer imports were down by 0.6% in May, to 3,520,391 barrels. That puts the YTD trend at up 6.1%, per Beer Institute’s Danelle Kosmal.  Interesting dynamics influenced that number. For one, Mexican imports slowed sequentially, to just 5.5% growth (notably, +4.2% vs. May ’19), down from +15.7% YTD and +10.6% in April.   But … Continue reading “Mexican Imports Slowed in May, But Still Impressive”

Dear Client: The beer industry could certainly use some pricing expertise.  In a moment where consumers are going from having excess stimulus cash to seeing reserves dry as inflation towers, every CPG entity seems to have its own strategy.  We’ve seen both sides of the spectrum in beer, with A-B taking price up twice this … Continue reading “A Pro Groks Beer Price”

Dear Client: Today, Anheuser-Busch is announcing the sale of its AB ONE Oakland, California operation to indy A-B wholesalers Markstein Sales Company and Matagrano, Inc., effective July 29.  Following the close, A-B’s Bay Area distribution will be split: “Markstein Sales Company will integrate the Oakland territory into its existing Antioch-based operations, while Matagrano will incorporate … Continue reading “A-B Selling Oakland ONE Operation to Markstein Sales Co. and Matagrano Inc.”

Dear Client: If our early conversations with wholesalers from around the country are any indicator, the Fourth seemed to be better than Memorial Day’s ho-hum showing for beer sales.  We asked more than 50 distributors how their July 4 sales were trending. The early replies are pretty promising (though some are still seeing inflationary pressures … Continue reading “Your Super Early July 4 Read: Much Better Than Memorial Day”

Dear Client: “If we don’t have a GREAT Weekend of Sales this time, I fear we have lost 2022.” That’s from the laptop of consultant Bump Williams last Friday in a note to clients, referring to the Super Bowl of beer sales: the long Independence Day weekend. We’ll have more color on that coming up, … Continue reading “Grokking Price Gaps”