Dear Client: Beer Institute economist Michael Uhrich did an industry update Thursday afternoon, to deliver this sobering tidbit: Without any macro changes on the horizon for GDP (up about 2.5%) and household incomes about the same, he predicts beer will again be down 1%-2% in 2019, in line with the last couple years. And while … Continue reading “BI Crystal Ball Says Beer Will Decline Again This year”

Dear Client: Constellation’s fiscal 2019 results are in. THE VITALS. The company’s beer business grew depletions by 8.8% over the year. Shipments were a notch ahead, up 9.7%. While net sales and operating income both grew double digits, up 11.6% and 11%, respectively. Other highlights from the fiscal year: Constellation’s beer portfolio remains the “#1 … Continue reading “Constellation Beer Depletions Up 8.8% in FY 2019”

Dear Client: I’ve spoken to three important entities in the last week:  The Association of Beverage Licensees, the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, and the New York Times. And under three very different contexts, one subject came up in all three discussions:  What is cutting into beer sales? I love the scene in the movie … Continue reading “Can We Get Serious Now?”

Dear Client: TTB has accepted a $2.5 million offer in compromise from Heineken USA “for alleged violations of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act,” the agency just reported. WHAT HAPPENED? First off: Heineken’s offer in compromise is not an admission of guilt (as alleged wrongdoing parties often offer monetary “OICs” in exchange for the TTB … Continue reading “TTB Accepts $2.5 Million Offer in Compromise from Heineken USA”

Dear Client: Last month’s VIBE conference highlighted some interesting stats on how drinkers switch categories when quaffing outside the home. About half of drinkers are not pre-committed to a category when going out. In other words, they’re not more likely to have one category over the other. Still, beer seems to have the most “stickiness”: … Continue reading “How Drinkers Choose Their Next Drink On Premise”

Dear Client: Well, it could be 70% of dollar share soon, says Constellation. Despite challenges in the low end, Constellation expects beer to continue to lead dollar growth for total beverage alcohol for the next three years. They project that the category, driven by its high end, will grow dollars 4%-6% between 2019-2021. This, via … Continue reading “How High Can High End Be?”

Dear Client: Back in November of 2017, we shared some big news about Constellation’s beer shelf allocation insights for retail. The idea? Retailers should adopt a “space-to-sales, or gross profit lens” for shelf setting. That would become the brewer’s Shopper First Shelf Initiative, which they started promoting in early 2018. According to CCO Bruce Jacobson, … Continue reading “Where Constellation’s “Shopper First” is Gaining Traction”

Dear Client: Anyone here heard of PRESS Premium Alcohol Seltzer? It’s a four-year-old brand invented by a Midwestern mom. The brand styles itself as “the largest independent alcohol seltzer brand and only woman-owned.” That’s from a presser released earlier this month, detailing the brand’s march across the U.S. Having entered 8 new markets in Q1, … Continue reading “Woman-Owned PRESS Seltzer Marches Across U.S.”

Dear Client: Beer volumes have been on a slide for over a month now. Since the four weeks to February 2, total beer volumes have only dropped deeper and deeper into the red in Nielsen all outlet scans. — That is, until this latest set of Nielsen data, which covers the four weeks to March … Continue reading “Latest Nielsen: Finding the Good in the Bad”

Dear Client: It’s been a year since President Trump’s 232 aluminum tariffs went into effect. How has it impacted the U.S. beverage, and more importantly beer, industry? Lucky for us, the Beer Institute “retained” Harbor Aluminum, an independent authority on the aluminum industry to answer just that. The findings are frightening. Despite the tarrifs’ intent … Continue reading “New Research Shows U.S. Beverage Industry Overpaying Bigtime on Cansheet”

Dear Client: Matt Bruhn, Pabst general manager, has a message for A-B and MillerCoors as they continue to engage in the Corn wars. They should be focused on category growth, instead of spending millions on infighting, he says. Because they account for “50%, 60% of all beer sold in America, basically the average person in … Continue reading “Pabst Asks WTF MillerCoors and A-B are Doing Right Now”

Dear Client: As we reported this morning, the nation’s largest independent Anheuser-Busch house, Houston-based Silver Eagle, says it’s selling its Houston-area territory to Redwood Capital Investments, J.R. Hand’s partner in Chicago. John Nau will keep San Antonio and is said to be looking at houses here. Significantly, the deal is pending supplier approvals, and Silver … Continue reading “Grokking The Silver Eagle Deal”

Dear Client: The nation’s largest independent Anheuser-Busch house, Houston-based Silver Eagle, says it’s selling its Houston-area territory to Redwood Capital Investments, a Maryland-based investment firm. Specifically, Silver Eagle announced it has signed an agreement for Redwood to acquire all assets of Silver Eagle Distributors in the counties of Ft. Bend, Montgomery and “a significant portion … Continue reading “Silver Eagle Selling Houston Territory to Redwood Capital Investments”

Dear Client: So the A-B and MillerCoors very public feud over corngate has bled into the courts. MillerCoors, based largely on reports from Beer Business Daily (which we stand behind, wholeheartedly), and Food and Wine Magazine, that A-B was allegedly attempting to associate corn syrup with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the average consumers’ … Continue reading “A-B and MillerCoors Making Ad Agencies Great Again”

Dear Client: MillerCoors has filed suit today against Anheuser-Busch in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin for what it calls “a false and misleading advertising campaign” from its largest competitor. The suit’s preliminary statement accuses A-B of having “publicly explained that it designed, tested, and launched a false and misleading … Continue reading “MillerCoors Files Suit Against A-B Over CornGate”