Dear Client: If you needed another data point to realize that hard seltzer has hit the big time, here it is:  A-B’s Bon & Viv will be the official hard seltzer sponsor of the NFL.   The way it was “leaked” however was a bit controversial as several news outlets pointed out that A-B paid ESPN … Continue reading “The Hard Seltzer Wars Have Truly Begun”

Dear Client: Dos Equis is doing things a little different in the fourth year of its College Football Playoff Partnership. The new campaign, dubbed “College Football Football College,” will take a more interactive approach – sending college football fans back to school to earn “a real degree in college football watching.”  Gone are the faces … Continue reading “Dos Equis Goes Back to School in Latest Campaign”

Dear Client: On Friday, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it would not extend a qualifying offer for Kona parent, Craft Brew Alliance, even though ABI will continue to own 31.3% and act as master distributor and contract brewing partner (at least for now).  After that proclamation, CBA announced it would host a conference call Thursday, Sept. 5, … Continue reading “Andy Thomas Gets Real About ABI, CBA’s Future”

Dear Client: Anheuser-Busch elected to take a pass on buying the remaining shares of Craft Beer Alliance at $24.50 a share (or about $475 million), as the deadline came and went on Friday without a deal [see CBD 08-24-2019]. This despite a “jilted at the altar” fee that A-B is n0w contractually obligated to pay … Continue reading “Grokking A-B’s Hard Pass on CBA”

Dear Client: Anheuser-Busch has just confirmed that it will not be making an offer  to purchase the remaining shares of CBA as per their 2016 International Distribution Agreement. Today was the deadline for a deal.  With ABI opting out of an offer, CBA is now entitled to a $20 million international incentive payment. And even … Continue reading “A-B Not Making Offer to Purchase Remaining Shares of CBA”

Dear Client: Classic Distributing & Beverage Group, a blue/silver wholesaler serving metro Los Angeles and eastern LA counties, has cut a deal to acquire fellow Southern California wholesaler Haralambos Beverage Company, whose portfolio is primarily non-alc. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close October 11, were not disclosed. The acquisition of Haralambos “opens … Continue reading “Yet Another Big California Distrib Deal”

Dear Client: Amazon has gotten some media play this month for its quasi-venture into brick and mortar booze sales in California [see BBD 08-21-2019]. But if you’re talking the biggest company in alcohol delivery, these days, you’re still talking about Drizly.  At least, according to Drizly. They bill themselves as the nation’s largest alcohol e-commerce … Continue reading “Among Alcohol Delivery Models, Drizly Stands As a Sort of Anti-Amazon”

Dear Client: You may have seen the stories from Wine-Searcher about the supposedly non-existent Amazon liquor store in LA, which would be in violation of California law that requires a retail outpost for Amazon’s liquor delivery operations.  If you haven’t, here’s the deal: Wine-Searcher went searching for an Amazon Liquor store in Los Angeles last … Continue reading “How Amazon Skirts Spirit of Liquor Laws in California”

Dear Client: “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws, baby.” This social media meme and viral video has taken the internet by storm, giving White Claw even more awareness and clout among young drinkers. As the video suggests, White Claw is like the iPhone and Truly is like Android.   We think a more apt analogy … Continue reading “Hard Seltzer: Where Have we Seen this Before?”

Dear Client: While hard seltzers have been by far the success story of the summer, Constellation notified its distributors late last week to inform them that “all SKUs of SVEDKA Spiked Seltzer are being discontinued” due to disappointing sales.   BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. The news shouldn’t come as too big a surprise. Within the … Continue reading “Constellation to Discontinue Svedka Spiked Seltzer”

Dear Client: Recently, AB InBev CFO Felipe Dutra hosted an analyst meeting, which included Robert Ottenstein of Evercore, who wrote that ABI believes the current model of distributor pre-salespeople going to accounts one or two times a week is “outdated.”   Robert writes that Felipe indicated that they’re “moving fast on data and digitalization.” Per … Continue reading “A-B Challenging Pre-Sales Model”

Dear Client: The more we write about White Claw shortages, the more distributors write in to share their own stories of the inevitable product shortages and out-of-stocks that skyrocketing demand creates. Mike’s Hard chief Phil Rosse tells BBD they’re doing “everything they can to keep up with surging demand, but that indeed “supply has got … Continue reading “White Claw Summer 2019 Creating Shortages”

Dear Client: Glazer’s Beer and Beverage has entered an agreement to purchase GLI, Inc., a 4 million case distributor in San Antonio, TX.  GLI is unique in that it is one of the few remaining “all other” stand-alone beer distributors in the country (no Bud-Miller-Coors-Constellation, except for minor brands).  Still, GLI’s impressive portfolio would be … Continue reading “Last of the Mohicans: Glazer’s to Buy GLI Distributing”

Dear Client: Overall beer volume is up 1.8% in Nielsen’s all outlet channel for the latest four weeks to August 3. The growth was enough to bring category volume into positive territory YTD, albeit barely, up 0.1%. What propped beer up in the latest frame? Grocery.  Beer volume was up an eye-popping 5.6% in the … Continue reading “Beer is Back?”

Dear Client: Over the weekend, we spotted some 12-packs of White Claw 70, a 70-calorie, zero sugar version of White Claw. It’s 3.7% ABV, and includes four flavors: Clementine, Watermelon, Lemon and Pineapple. All four of the flavors above are new to the White Claw family. But what really struck us about this latest version … Continue reading “We Spotted the New “White Claw 70” in the Wild”