Dear Client: At the DISCUS conference last week in New Orleans, IWSR Americas COO Brandy Rand shared sobering news that spirits will likely overtake beer in both value and volume in 2023 — if you count RTDs (of any base) as a completely separate category, as they do.  But don’t panic, beer people: This merely … Continue reading “Spirits to Overtake Traditional Beer Next Year?”

Dear Client: Heineken USA informed distributor partners yesterday of the actions they plan to take to try and “partially offset” the “unprecedented and volatile” rise that it has seen in “ocean freight costs.” Those actions include a temporary freight surcharge starting next month and the intent to take a general price increase in the fall.  … Continue reading “HUSA Implementing Temporary Freight Surcharge in July, Taking General Price Increase in Fall”

Dear Client: While Target’s excess inventory isn’t a beer problem [see yesterday’s issue], it is the latest signal of belt-tightening consumers. What does that mean for beer? We pinged a good portion of our trusty truth squadders — of all sizes and affiliations, from around the nation —  to get some color around their Memorial … Continue reading “Trade Down Gut Check, Beer Wholesaler Edition”

Dear Client: Memorial Day reads at retail are rolling in, and at a high-level view it appears to have been a ho hum holiday week for not just beer but for all of bev alc., despite pockets of reported success from distributors in regions with good weather. The big three categories all failed to lap … Continue reading “Early Memorial Day Scans Looking Soft”

Dear Client: When we caught up with Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione this week, he was riding along a whirlwind travel schedule.  “I’ve been on the road three of the last five weeks,” he said, where he’s plowing through “the most impactful meetings” with retailers and distributor partners.  They’ve just rung in the first anniversary … Continue reading “Sam Thinks Dogfish Head Canned Cocktails Could One Day Become Their “Highest Volume Line””

Dear Client: A recent IRI thought leadership piece on the RTD universe and its drivers delivers sobering news: for all the growth and relevance around RTDs, the category is stabilizing. Total RTDs (of any bev alc base) have reached 12% share of total bev alcohol as of the last 52 weeks, hitting above $11 billion … Continue reading “RTD Category is “Stabilizing.” What Does That Mean?”

Dear Client: Lots of quick hits to bring you from Constellation’s financial chief, Garth Hankinson, who grabbed a chair on stage with RBC’s Nik Modi yesterday at the RBC Global Consumer and Retail Conference.  We’ll start with one of the biggest questions facing Constellation as of late –  “Why aren’t we taking more pricing given … Continue reading “Constellation Pricing and Performance Staying Steady”

Dear Client: Mallika Monteiro is behind a lot of Constellation Brand’s hottest developments, from splashy, imminent new launches like Fresca Mixed, to e-comm moves, and M&A.  We chatted with Mallika this week on Beernet Radio.  She’s coming up on her three-year anniversary of being named Chief Growth, Strategy and Digital Officer. We wondered about her … Continue reading “Mallika On Constellation’s “Consumer Obsessed” Strategies”

Dear Client: Sierra Nevada is one of those breweries that is so iconic, even their arch competitors respect them. But being in craft beer for over 40 years — and growing for the vast majority of those years — takes you to OG status.  But despite that it has no debt and is still family-owned … Continue reading “Behind Sierra Nevada’s Plans to Double Revs with Innovation”

Dear Client: Video killed the radio star. Will inflation kill the premiumization star?   When one looks at the success of the beer industry – and indeed the entirety of the beverage business over the last 20 years – the majority of value creation in all three tiers has centered around fatter margins driven by premiumization … Continue reading “The End of Premiumization?”

Dear Client: Despite overall beer pricing on the up and up (+$1.34 YTD in in IRI MULC to May 15), there are still plenty of deals out there heading into Memorial Day. Our usual spot check of grocery ads across the country highlighted that mainstays are still very much going on the cheap over the … Continue reading “Grokking Memorial Day Deals”

Dear Client: We checked in with Winking Lizard Tavern operator John Lane on what this high-volume Ohio sports bar chain is seeing for summer [see BBD 11-04-2021 for our last major tune-up with John]. There’s good news, he says, as draft starts to pick up and lots of new segments are pulling. But pain points … Continue reading “Draft is Back in Heartland:  “Beasts are Performing””

Dear Client: There’s some dollar growth coming from some interesting places in the food channel, per the latest NielsenIQ scans for the four weeks ending May 14. Overall dollar growth is down 2% in the channel for the four weeks, but that’s predominantly owed to declines from hard seltzer (-13.8%), cider (-9.7%) and craft (-7.8%). … Continue reading “A Domestic Comeback Brewing?”

Dear Client: As malt-based and sugar-based hard seltzers look to shake off their sluggish start to 2022 this summer, one of the hottest brands in bev alc is dialing up airtime to tell consumers to “ditch” these types of hard seltzers altogether. Indeed, E&J Gallo’s high-flying spirits-based seltzer, High Noon, has just released a suite … Continue reading “High Noon Winds Up a Haymaker for Malt-Based Competition”

Dear Client: As one large wholesaler remarked recently: Drizly data looks a lot different than scan reads. That’s important, because the Drizly drinker skews younger, and often wealthy.  So what are people buying on the growing platform? We got you covered.  Drizly released its fourth annual Consumer Trend Report on Thursday, giving us a peek … Continue reading “What the Young People Are Ordering Online”