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Top 6 Still 96.6 Share of Seltzer in IRI; AB, STZ Biggest Share Gainers But Gains Slow – EXPRESS 11/16/20 Seltzer’s explosive growth still totally dominated by a handful of big companies, tho lotsa others getting small but growing slivers. In fact, top 6 still at 96.6 share of $$ in IRI multi-outlet + convenience thru 11/1. Means over 100 other companies are fighting over just 3.4 share of seltzer segment. They are splitting a little more than $100 mil or close to 3.5 mil cases, 30-35K per co on avg. The largest 2, CANarchy and Press (part-owned by Constellation), sold about half a mil cases each. And yet many of those cos, including CANarchy and Press, still growing very rapidly in 2020.
After Short, Unhappy Marriage, It’s Splitsville for Bang, Pepsi – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 11/17/20 It wasn’t much of a honeymoon: just 6 months into purportedly game-changing alliance between PepsiCo and Bang Energy marketer VPX, we’d reported that severe stresses had developed, with Bang sales still mediocre and VPX exec aggrieved that they were being given short shrift vs Pepsi’s newly acquired Rockstar Energy brand. Now those stresses have proved to be beyond repair, with VPX announcing that it’s given PEP notice of termination, effective Oct 23, of partnership that went into effect in Apr.
‘You’re Fired’? Not So Fast, Says PepsiCo; Insists It Will Continue to Distribute Bang Energy – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 11/18/20 VPX reps may already be approaching some of their terminated former distributors about carrying Bang Energy again, but PepsiCo is advising retail accounts that just because VPX declared “You're fired” yesterday doesn’t necessarily make it so. In letter to retailers and other accts, PepsiCo Beverages North America ceo Kirk Tanner said VPX press release issued yesterday contained several inaccuracies and that “Pepsi’s exclusive rights continue” for 3 more years on performance energy brand. The only change to plan, Kirk indicated: indie houses representing small share of biz now won’t be transitioning to blue system. Otherwise, it’s biz as usual on brand, Kirk emphasized.
New Belgium is #1 Craft Family (Ex-Blue Moon) w/ #1 IPA for 4 Wks in IRI – CRAFT 11/18/20 New Belgium’s remarkable run amid challenging circumstances in 2020 is taking co to new heights in tracked off-premise scan data. In fact, New Belgium $$ accelerated up 36% to $25.7 mil for latest 4 wks, putting total $$ sales ahead of Sierra Nevada (which still grew solid 15% to $24.96 mil), making it largest craft brand family in scans (ex-Blue Moon). And its lead brand, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, suddenly is #1 IPA by $$ for 4 wks as it kept up 72.5% growth pace to $7.9 mil for period.
SipSource Sez Spirits/Wine Depletions +2.4% for 12 Mos thru Sep; Beer STRs Up Just North of 0.3% – EXPRESS 11/18/20 Another sign of beer bein’ outperformed by spirits/wine. Total beer STRs up slightly more than 0.3% for 12 mos thru Sep 2020, extrapolating from AB InBev quarterly reports (which include estimates for total industry STRs). Meanwhile, SipSource estimates that combined spirits and wine depletions accelerated from -0.6% for 12 mos thru Feb 2020 to +2.4% for 12 mos thru Sep. Everything’s taking a big hit on-premise, natch, but standout number is spirits’ +5.3% increase in off premise depletions thru Sep. Recall, SipSource gathers depletions data from distribs representing about 90% of total US spirits/wine volume.
New Co Called DrinkPak Plans Big Cans-Only Copacker in LA; $30 Mil First Phase Goes Online Next Spring – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 11/19/20 They’ve been on other side of things often enough: trying to find line time for new concept at copacking partner, one they could scale up with if idea pans out. Now, small team of entrepreneurs and consultants has teamed up to open major cans-only copacking operation called DrinkPak about a mile outside LA city limits, with first line slated to be operational by late spring 2021. Operating out of 174K-sq-ft space in Santa Clarita, it will do full range of energy drinks and other NA items and also is licensed to produce beer, wine and spirits, including hard seltzers. Crucially, at time there’s huge squeeze on cans, the Krones filling line at heart of operation will be tuned to work not just with formats of US can makers but also suppliers in Europe, Asia and Latin America, at time marketers are scouring far ends of the earth for the scarce packs.
Lockdowns, Lifelines and Litigation; As Legislators Fiddle, On-Premise Burns – ALCOHOL ISSUES 11/20/20 The 21st Amendment’s grant of states’ rights to regulate alcohol, combined with a lack of federal leadership in combatting coronavirus, has led to dizzying patchwork of ever-changing rules and restrictions under which bars and restaurants can (or cannot) operate. The constant is change, and for now that change is trending toward fewer and fewer, if any, options. And most of them are bad. So, what will it be? Lifelines? More litigation? Legislation? More languishing? Most likely, an unsatisfying mix of all of the above.
ABI: “Next Cloud on the Horizon”? “What Will Altria and the Santa Domingos Do” When “Lock-Up Expires?” – EXPRESS 11/20/20 Bernstein’s Trevor Stirling, in his latest report, rates ABI outperform and reiterates that Q3 “was one of the most encouraging quarters that ABI has posted in quite some time.” That makes it all the more interesting that Trevor’s report this morn focuses on what he views as potential “next cloud on the horizon.” What’s that? Altria and the Santo Domingo family own 14% of ABI, going back to SABMiller acquisitions of Miller and Bavaria, respectively. They are “restricted shareholders,” meaning they can’t sell their shares now, but that “lock-up ends in October 2021.”
More on AB Brewers Collective Biggest 2021 Bets; $15 Mil Each on Space Dust, Mango Cart, Big Wave – CRAFT 11/20/20 AB’s Brewers Collective has lots cookin’ at all times among now 20 brand families under its umbrella post-CBA acquisition. But Goose Island, Golden Road, Elysian and now Kona continue to stand out as top priorities going forward on natl levels and in specific “accelerator markets” for specific brands, co shared with CBN in wide-ranging chats with Brewers Collective GMs. Indeed, each brand will have its own full marketing campaign as co spending $15 mil on each of Elysian Space Dust, Golden Road Mango Cart and Kona Big Wave next yr. And Golden Road will get its “first-ever TV commercial,” among other enhancements.
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