Ever play “which of these pictures look the most like the other?” One irony of beer biz these days is how craft segment beginning to look more and more like mainstream beer in some key ways. For one example, look at top-5 brand trends by segment in IRI MULC data yr-to-date thru Nov 5. (These are BMI-defined segments, by the way; IRI, for example, includes Blue Moon and Leinie Shandy in craft, while we put ’em in superpremium.) Segments that look most alike: premium and craft. In each, 4 of 5 top brands down yr-to-date. Among premiums, top 4 each down low to mid-singles as they’ve been much of 2017. Yuengling eked out tiny gain, thanks to Indy expansion. In craft, #4 Lagunitas +6.2%. But that’s significant slowdown (and up just 2% for 12 wks). And 4 other top craft brands each down, including double-digit losses for Sam Seasonals and Fat Tire, near double-digits for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Interesting that Shiner Bock hangin’ in as well as it is, despite fierce, growing competition in key Tex mkt.
|Top 5 Brands By Segment: YTD Volume Trend, IRI MULC|
|Premium||% Chg||Import||% Chg||FMB||% Chg|
|Bud Lt||-5.4||Corona Extra||6.1||Twisted Tea||17.1|
|Coors Lt||-2.5||Modelo Especial||19.7||Redds Ale||-11.3|
|Miller Lite||-1.7||Heineken||0.9||Smirnoff Ice||0.8|
|Bud||-6.0||Dos Equis||2.2||Mike's Harder||16.1|
|Yuengling||0.3||Stella Artois||13.6||Bud Lt Strawb||0.8|
|Craft||% Chg||Superpremium||% Chg||Economy||% Chg|
|Sierra Pale||-9.3||Mich Ultra||20.4||Natty Lt||-1.9|
|Shiner Bock||-0.9||Blue Moon||6.7||Busch Lt||0.6|
|Sam Seasonal||-24.4||Bud Lt Lime||-9.3||Busch||-2.0|
|Lagunitas IPA||6.2||Bud Platinum||-12.1||High Life||1.0|
|Fat Tire||-12.4||Leinie Shandy||10.5||Keystone Lt||8.8|
By sharp contrast, each of top-5 imports up yr-to-date: Corona, Modelo Especial, Heineken, Dos Equis Lager and Stella Artois. Those 5 brands collectively gained 11 mil cases yr-to-date in IRI MULC, while top-5 premium brands shed 22 mil cases. In very fickle FMB segment, 4 of top 5 gained. That includes robust trends for old-timer Twisted Tea and newer-comer Mike’s Harder Lemonade, plus slight gains for Smirnoff Ice and Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita. Mich Ultra continues to drive superpremiums, but Blue Moon havin’ solid comeback yr and Leinie Shandy turned it up this summer. Bud Light spinoffs mostly fadin’ tho. In economy, Busch Light and High Life hangin’ onto very modest gains YTD, Natty Light and Busch Light each off about 2%, Key Light’s cookin’ with 15-pk.
Published: beer marketer's INSIGHTS, vol 48, no 22; November 21, 2017