Dear Client: Memorial Day trends are in from IRI.   Beer dollars were up 3.3% and volumes were up 0.3% for the Memorial Day two-week period, to June 2. That dollar trend is only slightly higher than the YTD stat, up 2.9%, and actually slightly worse than beer’s YTD volume trend, up 0.4%. FMBS AND … Continue reading “Meh-Morial Day”

Dear Client: The way of the future for foodservice? The integration of online and in-store occasions. And it has huge implications for not only the restaurant industry but beer as well. Over the next 10 years, delivery will be important particularly for beverage alcohol, the longtime SVP of the Research and Knowledge Group for the … Continue reading “Virtual Restaurants the New Frontier, Says National Restaurant Association Chief”

Dear Client: The highlight of yesterday’s meeting was an announcement from Beer Institute chief Jim McGreevy that they, along with the Brewers Association and NBWA, will launch a shared campaign this summer to grow beer. “Final details are being worked out, but I think this an important step… for too long we’ve been focused on … Continue reading “BI Announces a New “Shared Campaign” to Grow Beer: MillerCoors, HUSA are Holdouts”

Dear Client: August Busch III has been out of the spotlight for some time, but one needn’t wonder about the Anheuser-Busch magnate’s opinion on legalized marijuana in the United States. Three Sticks made an intense appearance at the Beer Institute’s meeting open last night in A-B’s domestic home court, St. Louis. There, he was presented … Continue reading “August III to Beer Institute Audience: “Work Hard Against Marijuana””

Dear Client: After we ran last week’s story on the Nevada Attorney General reaching out to A-B, requesting more information about its wine and spirits-facing distributor contract, the Pestalozzi Agreement, the supplier reached out to BBD with more information [see BBD 06-07-2019]. Recall, the state was concerned that the proposed distribution agreement did “not recognize … Continue reading “Nevada AG Saw Wrong Version of Pestalozzi Agreement, says A-B”

Dear Client: In late April, BBD broke news that A-B was disseminating a wholesaler agreement to govern their emerging wine and spirits brands. It’s called The Pestalozzi Agreement (after the street of its St. Louis headquarters). And as we wrote, in many ways it’s the same as a beer agreement:  “Same Match N’ Snatch provision, … Continue reading “Nevada AG Suggests Pestalozzi Could Run Afoul of Nevada Law, Demands Response by End of June”

Dear Client: In yesterday’s issue of BBD, I took issue with Constellation and Heineken USA’s strategy of “decoupling” 12 pack can pricing with bottle pricing, pointing out the iconic nature of both the Corona painted clear bottle and Heineken’s green bottle.   But I got schooled by a legendary beverage strategist whom I’ve known and … Continue reading “A Contrarian’s View to Bottle vs Can Pricing”

Dear Client: In a surprise move, Anheuser-Busch’s Vice President of Beyond Beer, Randy Ornstein, notified wholesaler partners yesterday that his time at A-B has come to an end. Randy, who began his career at A-B in 2005 as the brewer’s category space manager for Wal-Mart, was named the VP of A-B’s Beyond Beer division less … Continue reading “A-B Abruptly Loses Beyond Beer Chief”

Dear Client: Late this summer, Natural Light hopes to lay a big turd in White Claw’s punch bowl. Having launched Strawberry Lemonade Naturdays — which A-B says is among the top beer innovations this year — value brand Natural Light is leveraging yet another extension. Natural Light Seltzer. Yes, this time, it’s a seltzer. A … Continue reading “New Natural Light Seltzer: Hard Seltzer Meets Beer Pong… Will Retailers Balk?”

Dear Client: Since Mike’s Hard Lemonade was founded on April Fool’s Day in 1999 by Anthony von Mandl, it has been an amazing growth machine. However, while it’s had its starts and stops over the last 20 years, Mike’s really started to grow in earnest seven years ago under the leadership of Phil Rosse, and … Continue reading “Grokking the Industry Unicorn”

Dear Client: Yesterday evening, several outlets reported comments from president Trump that he plans to levy a 5% tariff on imported goods from Mexico starting June 10. It’s punitive: The New York Times reported Trump’s intent to “gradually increase” the tax “until the flow of undocumented immigrants across the border stopped.” Apparently, unless that is … Continue reading “Beer Stocks React to Mexican Tariff News”

Dear Client: The NFL has decided to follow suit with the NBA and MLB and soften up its alcohol ad policies. As you may know, the NBA and MLB have both recently done away with its ban on active players linking up with beer companies. Hence the recent partnerships we’ve reported on with Yuengling and … Continue reading “NFL, Beer, and Players: A Much Needed Reboot”

Dear Client: Who says brick and mortar is dying?  In a bid to keep their stores as an attractive destination, Texas’ most iconic grocer is getting into the beer garden game. H-E-B, the twelfth largest private company on Forbes’ 2018 list of America’s Largest Private Companies, is opening a beer garden and food hall when … Continue reading “Iconic Texas Grocer, H-E-B, to Roll Beer Garden at Flagship Austin Renovation”

Dear Client: I believe we can finally declare the big brewer arms race for creating and buying craft brands and brewers over, and the winner is:  Yuengling, for not buying anything and sticking to its guns.  But of the other big brewers, after looking at the BA data for 2018, A-B is the clear winner. … Continue reading “A-B Wins Big Brewer Craft Race”

Dear Client: Not many bears out there on Constellation these days. But on Friday Morgan Stanley’s Dara Mohsenian downgraded Constellation to equal weight from overweight, seeing “limited further upside” in stock price, but also a riskier time for the company’s beer portfolio as they cycle large Corona extension innovations. “Our downgrade is also tied to … Continue reading “Morgan Stanley Warns on Constellation’s Beer Business”