Dear Client: Whew!  Wow! I didn’t expect the amount of feedback on our story about how Busch Latte is en fuego and everybody seems to know why (because it ain’t pricing — trust me, we always check that first).   Yes, it turns out that EVERYBODY and their cousins have theories — even and especially blue-silver … Continue reading “Grokking the Busch Light Phenom”

Dear Client: In the week ending August 8, off-premise beer sales increased 13.8%, slightly below the previous week’s growth rate of 14.2%, according to scans from Nielsen.  Of course, seltzers continue to rule the day.   So to stop sounding like a broken record, we decided to go old school for this piece and just focus … Continue reading “The Busch Light Conundrum”

Dear Client: Yesterday, Wine and Spirits Daily broke news that the largest platform for bev alc e-commerce, Drizly, announced it has closed a $50 million Series C funding round.  But the news here isn’t really this latest round of funding. It’s more that almost 10% of off-premise alcohol sales are happening through e-commerce right now.  Drizly … Continue reading “From Chains to Distributors, Get Ready to Work with Drizly”

Dear Client: Forget the concept of “loss leaders,” where retailers cut price on strategic packages to increase traffic and steal customers from competitors. Maybe we’re witnessing the rise of “beer beacons”: Perversely full shelves of in-demand products like White Claw (at regular price) to ensure shoppers visit. Because if there’s one thing a consumer wants … Continue reading “Behold, the Wall ‘O Claw”

Dear Client: We’ve heard this issue from several wholesalers over the last week:  Off-premise chain retailers hoarding up on the big hard seltzer brands that are in short supply — particularly White Claw and Truly — so that they won’t run out, starving out smaller indie stores. Distributors are all on allocation, but the big … Continue reading “Distributors Are on Allocation on Seltzers, But Retailers are Hoarding”

Dear Client: “Last year, when we told A-B they needed to get in on this seltzer craze, they didn’t seem that interested. That has changed bigtime,” a distributor told A-B.  Now they are going “all in” on seltzers.   First in the queue is Bud Light Platinum Seltzer. It wouldn’t have been our first guess. Michelob … Continue reading “A-B Going Seltzer Crazy”

Dear Client: Hard seltzers so far largely mimic the classic vodka-soda, with fruit hints added.  While they appear to men and women alike, some find that recipe too sweet or cloying.  But as we know, companies are racing to fill any and all hard seltzer niches out there to differentiate themselves in what is quickly … Continue reading “Finally, a Seltzer for Caballeros”

Dear Client: For this piece, we look to Aristotle’s classic method of call and response, where we look at a recent beer distributor survey conducted by Bonnie Herzog and her team at Goldman Sachs regarding non-alc players getting into the hard seltzer business, and then we give you our take on what the distributors said.   … Continue reading “Grokking the Monster/Topo Seltzer Issue with Distributors”

Dear Client: After we reported the story that Reyes’ Chicago Beverage Systems was going to merge with their craft-centric sister company, Windy City, I got several messages from readers suggesting this was a shot across the bow of all the other blue-silver-gold distributors in the area — traditionally called the “MillerCoors cluster” — that Reyes … Continue reading “Breakthru Bypasses Reyes in Chicago”

Dear Client: It ain’t happening.  Yet.  Back in the economic crises of 2001 and 2008, economy/budget beer really started to kick it up a notch.  In this crash, which is much worse, particularly now as federal government subsidy checks dry up, the economy segment is curiously not only still losing share, but its rate of … Continue reading “Still Waiting on the Budget Beer Boom”

Dear Client: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” -Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) One of the most common questions I get about BBD is, “Harry, do you match your famous quotes with the content of the day’s newsletter?” The short answer is no.  Except when we do.  And today is one of those days.   Several … Continue reading “Chaos in California”

Dear Client: Total beverage alcohol spending is forecasted to drop by 12.5% in the U.S. in 2020, according to Jon Moramarco, managing partner of BW166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson report, reported Wine & Spirits Daily on Friday. That’s estimating off-premise spending to be up 13.7% and on-premise spending down just over 48% for the … Continue reading “Wine & Spirits Are Outperforming Beer. Or are They?”

Dear Client: BBD has learned that Reyes is consolidating its two Chicagoland shops – Chicago Beverage Systems and Windy City Distributing – which will now operate as one single company, effective mid-October of this year. The move, of course, is all about efficiency.  For the past eight years, the two houses have “operated independent businesses … Continue reading “Reyes Combining Chicago Operations”

Dear Client: Why should you care about the top regional seltzer players? Let’s do some quick math: If regional seltzers have a roughly 3%-5% share of seltzer today, and seltzer is 10% of beer (potentially poised to double in the next year or two), that makes regional seltzer producers potential formidable players. Growing healthily, with … Continue reading “The Top Regional Seltzer Rocket Ships”

Dear Client: The on-premise is still nowhere near “normal” levels, but it’s slowly getting there, the latest on-premise report from BeerBoard shows.  The number of taps, the percentage of taps pouring, and volume coming out of the channel were all on the rise in the latest weekend (July 31-August 2) covered by BeerBoard. Indeed, perhaps … Continue reading “On-Premise Inching Closer to Normal”