Svekda Seltzer Variety Packs Getting a Calorie and ABV Bump

Dear Client:

Last summer, Constellation announced that Svedka Spiked Premium Seltzer would hit the scene with a lean, 100-calorie, 3.5 gram-carbohydrate nutritional profile and a modest 4.5% ABV point. Flavors included Tangerine Hibiscus, Strawberry Elderflower and Cucumber Basil.

But Constellation sent word to distributors in at least one market last week that they would tweak flavors and raise the ABV to 6%, also bumping the calorie count to 120.

Changes affect Svedka Seltzer variety 12 packs, which will now come in more common flavors, including Wild Strawberry, Cucumber Lime and Ruby Red Grapefruit.

“Distributors can begin placing their orders for the reformulated SKU mid-March for shipments in April,” per communication.

Memo continued that the changes “take advantage of the intersection of two growing subcategories within FMB: higher ABV and spiked seltzer. Consumers tell us this is the sweet spot of ABV/calorie tradeoff within the category.”

The brand will also get new packaging. Stay tuned.

MILLERCOORS PACIFIC AREA SALES TWEAKS INCLUDE PEPSI AMD COORS DISTRIBUTING CO. VETS

Last week, MillerCoors communicated to its network some sales leadership tweaks. They include:

Chris Haas will become the regional VP of Pacific Region, succeeding Brian Erhardt (who was promoted to chief integrated supply chain officer). Most recently, the 30-year industry vet led the company’s only branch distributorship, the Coors Distributing Co. in Denver. (In a previous post Chris also served as general manager for MillerCoors house Goldring Gulf Distributing).

Mike Nuss will take Chris’ place as VP/general manager of CDC. “He’s taking on the role after a successful run as the general manager of the Ohio/Kentucky management unit,” per communication.

Finally, Jennifer Fulton is joining MillerCoors as the new general manager for Washington/Oregon/Idaho/Alaska. Jennifer comes to MillerCoors following an impressive and wide-ranging beverage career with Stumptown Coffee Roasters and PepsiCo. Most recently, Jennifer served as vice president of sales planning for the Portland-based Stumptown.

TRUTH SQUAD SPEAKETH

We do appreciate feedback, particularly if if it is negative, believe it or not. I used to dislike checking email in the morning because of the negative feedback, but at some point in my mid-forties, I developed a rhinoceros hide and recognized that the negative feedback was the where the gold lies. Now I welcome it.

And here’s one that struck me to the bone: A distributor reader writes that he’s “disappointed in your qualifying adjective of ‘young’ talent with regard to Anheuser-Busch’s ability to innovate this morning. Harry, I’m all for developing talent but maybe one of the issues at AB (and many breweries) is the eagerness to shove aside industry veterans to make way for the new talent, most of whom have only earned their stripes by being from a wealthy enough family to afford grad school straight out of college and haven’t had to deliver numbers and maintain relationships year over year.”

A valid and good point. Even us old hounds can sniff out a truffle in the dirt now and then.

BRANCHING OUT: MORE ON A-B’s DECISION TO SELL NEW JERSEY BRANCH

We alluded to A-B selling off its New Jersey branch in yesterday’s issue but wanted to share more details on the matter.

This past Friday, Northern Eagle announced they would acquire the distribution territory covered by A-B’s New Jersey branch in the state, Anheuser-Busch Sales of New Jersey.

The deal, expected to close next month, will be “subject to customary closing conditions.”

This isn’t the first transaction between the two. A-B previously sold off a portion of the branch’s territory to Northern Eagle Beverage back in late 2015.

The release made it clear that A-B is fond of Northern Eagle owner Steve Reale, who has been a Red wholesaler since 1993. Bob Tallet VP, business and wholesaler development at A-B called Steve “a respected member” of their Wholesaler Advisory Panel, and called out his Ambassador of Excellence honors. “We look forward to continuing a great relationship with our partner Steve Reale and the entire Northern Eagle Beverage Co. family as we expand that partnership for the future.”

Will A-B sell off more branches as suggested last year [see BBD 12-13-2018]? We shall see.

Until tomorrow,

Harry, Jenn, and Jordan

“To play it safe is not to play.”
– Robert Altman

———- Sell Day Calendar ———-
Today’s Sell Day: 18
Sell days this month: 20
Sell days this month last year: 20
This month ends on a: Thurs.
This month last year ended on a: Wed.
YTD sell days Over/Under: +1