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INSIGHTS Weekly Digest

 Vol 2, No 19   May 10, 2021

 News, Numbers, Info, and More                                                       published by Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, Inc.

All articles shown below are excerpts from one of INSIGHTS’ 5 newsletter publications: Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS, INSIGHTS Express, Craft Brew News, Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS, and Beverage Business INSIGHTS.
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OOS 2021, Import Edition (Mostly): STZ Still Bedeviled By OOS; Stella Draught Brewed in US – EXPRESS 5/4/21 And you thought out-of-stocks were last year’s story. But OOS ongoing and stubbornly remain a very big deal. Constellation is the co distribs most often howl about on supply chain these days. Constellation made several statements about getting its inventories back to normal by certain dates (November, February, May). But that hasn’t yet happened for several reasons. Principal among them: increased demand. It’s far more than STZ expected at least in some parts of US, INSIGHTS understands. But it’s far from just Constellation, supply chain issues persist for most suppliers and distribs increasingly vocal in their frustration. “Trust no one,” said one.

Owen’s Mixers Lands $7.5 Mil Round from Rucker, Lemieux, Flock of Wine & Spirits Vets – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 5/4/21 Just in time for broad reopening of nation’s arenas, bars and restaurants, Owen’s Mixers has brought in new capital round of $7.5 mil via mix of celebs and strategically connected investors. Among the boldface names investing in natural brand are country music star Lee Brice, former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker, NHL icon Mario Lemieux and singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd. On strategic side are prior investor Levy Family Partners along with Maas Family Office representing Rum Chata creators. Also in mix are former Nestle exec and Noosa yogurt ceo Frank Higgins and ex-Stoli Group ceo Rudy Costello.

Don’t Look Now But Constellation New #2 in C-Stores Nationally for 4 Weeks – EXPRESS 5/5/21 Constellation passed Molson Coors in by far largest channel for beer sales, c-stores, nationally for last 4 weeks thru Apr 18 in IRI convenience data. Constellation up $40.4 mil, 14.7% to $315 mil while Molson Coors down $12.4 mil, 3.9% to $307 mil. STZ gained 1.3 share to 16.98, while Molson Coors fell 1.7 share to 16.54. Molson Coors still $72 mil ahead yr-to-date, but Constellation already gained $170 mil more than Molson Coors thru Apr 18. So MC may not be ahead yr-to-date for long if trends continue.

Bell’s “Bounceback”; Up About 10% YTD, Following Strong Mar-Apr, Reopening of On-Premise – CRAFT 5/5/21 “January and February were rough,” Bell’s founder Larry Bell told Craft Brew News, but now “business is good” and Bell’s up 10% yr-to-date. Bell’s getting strong “bounceback,” said Larry, as on-premise reopens and its sales force mostly vaccinated and back to calling on accounts, trying to get draft lines again. Recall, last yr pandemic shutdown hit just wk before Bell’s huge spring seasonal Oberon arrived on scene, which definitely hurt. Now those challenges somewhat reversed. And Bell’s back in VA and doing well there too.

Michel Will Step Up to Global ABI Ceo, Brito to Step Down Jul 1; Who Will Step In in US? – EXPRESS 5/6/21 Unsurprising, broadly telegraphed even, but still very big news that AB ceo (and prexy of North American zone) Michel Doukeris will become ceo of largest global brewer Anheuser Busch InBev. Michel will take helm from Carlos Brito, who has been ceo for 15 years and led co thru astonishing transformation. One surprise: no successor named for Michel, tho ABI promises one before July 1. Already lotsa speculation among AB wholesalers about who that could be and it’s about to go into fever pitch.

Happy Days Are Here Again? ABI Up Double Digits, Stock Up; STRs Up in US Thru Apr – EXPRESS 5/6/21 Anheuser Busch InBev global volume up 13%, revs up 17% and normalized EBITDA up 14% in Q1, it reported. Well ahead of expectations; stock up 5% at presstime. For first time in over a yr, ABI gave guidance too: it expects FY ‘21 EBITDA to grow 8-12% and revs to grow even faster “from a healthy combination of volume and price.” (Recall, Molson Coors expects revs up mid-singles and EBITDA flat.) Unstated but ABI guidance means its EBITDA margin will go down again in 2021.

Kyle Busch-Fronted Rowdy Energy Reels in $13 Mil Round; Recruits Suja Vet Vidaurreta – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 5/6/21 Rowdy Energy, the naturally formulated energy brand created by Nascar icon Kyle Busch and Suja Juice founder Jeff Church, has reeled in $13 mil in growth capital, just ahead of move into raft of newly authorized retail partners. And it’s continuing to build out leadership team, lately recruiting former Suja sales exec Nicky Vidaurreta to share sales duties with David Martin, who’ll narrow his focus to smaller-format channels like c-stores, drug and military while she focuses mainly on large-format channels like club, mass, natural and grocery. Rowdy, recall, has adopted contrarian strategy for energy segment, so far avoiding DSD and focusing less on coastal regions than heartland regions where charismatic driver’s allure is strongest. 

Still Waiting for the New Norm; Wild Swings Mark Q1 Shipments Estimates, -10% to +60% – BEER MARKETER'S 5/7/21 Pandemic fallout, odd comps, continued OOS and crazy one-offs still impacting volume trends. So, tuff to tell exactly where the beer biz is right now, what the “new norm” will be and when we’ll even recognize it. Lookin’ at depletions trends from Fintech thru Q1, and comparing back to 2019 to even out last yr’s pantry load/on-premise crash, NBWA economist Lester Jones sez beer biz “kind of right where it needs to be,” as distribs rebuild inventories, get ready for summer and on premise comes back. But individual brewer shipments trends all over the lot in Q1.

Summer Strategies: Light Styles and Fruit Variants; Tracking Comps; IPA Share Flat in Supers – CRAFT 5/7/21 A scroll thru the feeds of the craft beer Twitterati might lead you to the misconception that the segment's been reduced to heavily fruited, thick, perhaps even slushy sours and IPAs. Perhaps for group of small, taproom or DTC-centric haze-factories (for which the explosive style is changing the game). As the broader biz gears up for summer, craft sure is bursting with juicy fruit, but often on much lighter, dare we say beerier bases. Let's talk lagers with lime. Wheat ales tinged with tartness and tropical or berry touches. Pilsner and kolsch. Blonde and gold. Throw in a hazy IPA for good measure and a shiny new taproom with lots of outdoor space and you're ready for Craft: Summer 2021.

NYC Mayor Advocates for 0.05 BAC Limit – ALCOHOL ISSUES 5/7/21 “This is an opportunity to make profound change.” So said New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio as he called on state legislators to pass the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act, several sources reported. Among other measures, including giving cities more flexibility to set their own speed limits, the bill would reduce the legal BAC across the state to 0.05. The bill is part of the Mayor’s ongoing Vision Zero plan to eliminate all crash deaths in the city by 2024. A more recent impetus: the death of a NYPD officer, allegedly killed by a drunk driver while “assisting at the scene of an earlier crash” on the Long Island Expressway, AP reports.

Monster Sets Natural-Energy Play under True North Brand; Seems Set on Non-Alc Seltzer but Still Wary of the Hard Stuff – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 5/7/21 Reporting another period of robust growth, Monster Beverage indicated it’s ready to put its toe into waters of natural/organic energy segment with new brand called True North due this summer. And co-ceo Rodney Sacks seemed to suggest on earnings call yesterday that co also is ready to roll with non-alc seltzer under undisclosed brand name. But co remains on fence about launching a hard seltzer, at time segment is awash in new entries and rate of growth has begun to tail off. “All I can really say is just that we are addressing it, but you shouldn’t assume that we are definitely going to go ahead or definitely not going to go ahead or how,” he cautioned analysts who’ve been abuzz with anticipation about a potential launch for over a year, since restrictions on devising items outside Coke network fell away.

Final Files of 2021 Beer Industry Update Coming Soon; Order Now and Save $150 Off Publication Price 2020 was an exceptional year, for sure. Get the final figures for total shipments, brewers’ performance, brand data, segment data, region/state trends and much more from the source you trust for daily updates on the US beer biz. The 2021 Beer Industry Update compiles an exclusive and extensive set of numbers, analysis and insights, offering you an essential tool for understanding how the biz fared in 2020. Update is an annual compendium of stats, facts and analysis from Beer Marketer's Insights, featuring key shipments trends, retail sales analysis, consumer survey and consumption data and more. The final data and text files for 2021 Beer Industry Update will be delivered next week. A PDF version of the book will follow later this month. Reserve your copy today: order now and save $150 off the $1,450 final publication price.

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