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11/19/2018

Top Beer Execs Speak to Top Beer Topics; Peter, Paul & Michel on High End, Innovation, Etc (excerpt)

AB’s ceo Michel Doukeris, MC’s chief comms officer/Tenth and Blake prexy Pete Marino and Constellation Brands Beer Div prexy Paul Hetterich each spoke separately at Beer Insights Seminar.  Yet each covered some of same key issues.

Category Health, High End, Mainstream: Different Positions  Long-term beer biz softness “opens up an urgency and responsibility to act,” Michel said. Both innovation and premiumization can improve industry health, as they have in UK and France, where biz has gone from decline to growth, Michel pointed out.  “We need to bring a little magic back to beer,” Pete said, and every brewer needs to “up their game.” MC’s “bias is to first make sure that our own brands are healthy.” Beer does not even have “image problem,” in Paul’s view. It’s all about “leaning into” high end, only place Constellation plays.  High end growing volume 3-4% per yr, $$ about 9% and provides all industry growth these days. Now that high end over 50 share of $$, easier for industry volume to grow in toto, tho that’s likely to take 4-5 yrs, as it has in other CPG categories, said Paul. No wonder AB feels more “urgency” to address category health. And no wonder both Michel and Pete each talked about pivoting to more emphasis on high end, even as they each try to defend big mainstream brands.  But note differences in emphasis/approach of each. Pete asserted MC “has got to fix Coors Light,” or efforts “shaping and transforming our portfolio” to high end are going to be difficult. But on Bud Light/Bud, Michel said “we look too much to these brands” and light lager “over-indexes” in US. So, he suggested need to focus more on “where the growth is going to be.” ...

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2018
  • Volume: 49
  • Issue #: 21
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