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How’s Biz? Shipments, Scans Flattish Yr-to-Date; Off-Prem $$ +2%; Premiumization Poppin’

Not too slow, not too fast, yet kind of an improved 4 mos for beer biz.  Volume still soft, but not bleedin’. Domestic brewers’ taxpaid shipments thru Apr and imports thru Mar suggest total US shipments slipped 255K bbls, -0.4% so far yr-to-date, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich.  Meanwhile, Nielsen all-outlet scans a similar -0.2% yr-to-date thru 5/11, having slowed in most recent 4-wk periods.  May soft going into Memorial Day, we hear anecdotally from distribs. At same time, $$ sales still growing and premiumization picked up pace so far this yr.  Above premium segments runnin’ up about 8%, adding 2.6 share to volume, near 3 share of $$ thru early May in Nielsen.  Imports (mostly Constellation), FMBs (seltzers) and superpremiums (Mich Ultra) sharin’ that share gain.  Craft volume share even yr-to-date; $$ share off 0.2. Premium biz takin’ a 2+ share hit, economy shedding 0.6. Channel-wise, grocery biz up (volume +0.6%, $$ +3.1%), but c-store volume -2.3%, $$ up just 0.3%.  Premium and near-premium biz especially soft in c-stores.

Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS, vol 50, no 10; May 27, 2019


Imports Rebound in March, Up 11%; But Still Down 0.5% for Q1, -1% for 6 Mos  

Following 5 straight mos of declines, import shipments finally bounced back with 331K-bbl, 10.9% increase in Mar, reports Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich based on Commerce Dept data.  Even with Mar gain, Q1 imports -40K bbls, -0.5%. (That includes 30K-bbl pop from NAs, mostly Heineken 0.0.) Decline in Q1 follows similar drop in Q4 2018. So, imports down 148K bbls, 0.9% for 6 mos.  On top of estimated 0.5% decline in domestic brewers’ shipments, total US shipments off approx 185K bbls, 0.5% in Q1, and down about same pace for 12 mos.

In Mar, Mexican shipments posted 259K-bbl, 12% gain.  But that brought Mexican shipments to up just 0.4% for 3 mos.  Big Mar gains in Belgian and Irish shipments too. Dutch biz flattish including NAs in Mar.  In Q1, Dutch shipments down 83K bbls, 8%. Belgian-German combo up 35K bbls, 5.4%. Irish shipments up 2%; Canadian shipments down 2%.  Italian shipments jumped nearly 50%. UK and Jamaican biz way off. Finally, exports hit hard in Q1: -275K bbls, -19%.

INSIGHTS Express, Vol 21, No 99; May 10, 2019



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 2019 Beer Marketer's Insights Seminar

The 2019 Beer Insights Seminar will be held in New York City, on Sunday evening, November 17th to Monday, November 18th at Convene.