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INSIGHTS Express

 

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INSIGHTS Express is designed for busy beer execs who want faster news and more info. Available via fax or email (your choice), INSIGHTS Express delivers subscribers breaking news, key numbers, pithy quotes, and other interesting info almost daily, whenever there's new to report.

In each INSIGHTS Express, you'll find breaking news balanced with other info you just won't see elsewhere.Competitive intel. Often exclusive coverage of industry meetings. Unique data insights.Trends in other industries that bear on the US beer biz. Alcohol policy issues. Statistical snapshots. And much, much more.

Insights Express

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Accelerated beer SKU rationalization a clear byproduct of COVID-19 as all 3 tiers reassess portfolios and shelf-space allotment amid pandemic. Total beer SKUs collectively declined 6% in latest 8 wks thru May 3 vs yr prior, falling to 19,822 active SKUs in IRI data for period, Consumer Edge’s Brett Cooper shows in latest report. US beer has had “too many inefficient SKUs” for some time as beer SKUs rose nearly 50% since 2015 to 25,057 in 2019, with ~20% more SKUs added annually vs ~9% removed per yr. New SKUs drove industry growth (in scans) over last 5 yrs, making up 2/3 of growth from 2015-2019. Yet of 3,700 new SKUs introduced in 2016, only 2,700 were still around in 2019. “We would argue” that’s “too high of a count,” said Brett. Those 2700 SKUs made up just 4% of sales in 2019. And just 42 of those SKUs intro’d in 2016 made up 75% of that 4% last yr. Notably, growth shifted toward pre-existing brands and SKUs since pandemic, and largest brewers and “those with the most efficient portfolios” stand to benefit most amid this recent shift. But regardless of how this came about, and who benefits most, “there…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 12
“Pabst exercised its option to purchase the Irwindale Brewery,” wrote Molson Coors in govt filing, “and such purchase is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.” Recall, Pabst option to purchase is for $150 mil, “including plant equipment and machinery and the underlying land.” But what will Pabst do with it? Irwindale capacity is 4.8 mil bbls. Nationwide, Pabst only sold 4 mil bbls in 2019, INSIGHTS estimates. And it lost 1 mil bbls, 20% of its biz in just last 2 yrs. So far this yr, Pabst flattish, up 0.6%, in Nielsen all outlet yr-to-date thru 4/25. That’s improvement. But still, adding so much “capacity (more than Pabst sells in in its entirety) and putting all of Pabst production on one coast would seem illogical,” as Consumer Edge’s Brett Cooper wrote. So what gives?“There Has to Be More to the Deal” That’s what Brett concludes. Recall, Pabst struck somewhat mysterious deal to contract brew with City Brewing in La Crosse, WI late last yr (moving all its production from Molson Coors by 2024). So looking at Pabst purchase of Irwindale, “we believe that there is a potential plan for Pabst and City Brewing to create a national…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 100
Beer $$ sales grew 27% for 1 week thru Apr 26 in IRI multi-outlet + convenience data reported by Bump Williams Consulting. Outsized off-premise gains show no sign of running out-of-steam. Bump listed possible reasons why: “Not sure if it was the HOT weather, sunshine starting to fuel the cabin fever ‘escape plans,’ increased in-home consumption, consumers finding ways to ‘party’ using GoTo Meeting technology or folks just simply wanting to show C19 that they aren’t afraid to go out in public. Whatever it is, folks flocked to the store and drove sales.” But once again, wine and spirits biz grew even more rapidly. Wine $$ sales up 32% for 1 week and spirits $$ sales up 50% for 1 week. Since Mar 8 (just before pandemic officially began), beer $$ sales up 21% in IRI, but wine up 28.5% and spirits $$ sales up a whoppin’ 40%.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 98
That was quick. Days after hearing oral arguments in MC-AB corn syrup spat, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with AB up and down the line, tossing US Dist Ct judge’s injunctions that halted some of the Bud Light ads and “no corn syrup” language on its packaging. In terse, 5-page opinion and despite hundreds of documents in case file, many redacted to ostensibly protect sensitive info, Judge Easterbrook said “this case is and always has been simple.” Judges didn’t even bother to parse the “tour of trademark law” the participants provided.Simply put, judges rejected Molson Coors’ insistence that an “ingredient,” something used to make a product, differs from what’s in the final product. “Common usage equates a product’s ingredients with its constituents ─ indeed some of Molson Coors’ own managers testified that a beer ‘contains’ what’s on the ingredients list.” What’s more, AB never advertised that MC brands “contain” corn syrup, tho consumers may have inferred that from the ads. “Still, Molson Coors’s own statements yield the same inference.” By using the word ingredients, “Molson Coors brought this problem on itself,” judges added. They conclude it’s “enough for us to hold that it is not ‘false or misleading’ for…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 97
Just when it looked like the off-prem boon in beer sales was beginning to wane, trends picked up again during week ending Apr 5, Bump Williams Consulting shared in latest weekly update. Beer $$ grew 22% in IRI multi-outlet + convenience data for the week after “slowing” to +17% in week prior ending Mar 29. So beer $$ improved to +12% YTD thru Apr 5 in IRI MULC.Every segment grew $$ sales low-double-digits or better again, tho hard seltzers continue to steal the show; $$ up 333%, adding 5.3 share of total beer $$ to 7.4. That drove total FMBs +5.4 share to 14.1 of total beer. Surpassed subpremium $$ sales (-1.5 to 13.9 share) for the week. For the most part, share gaining and losing segments remain the same during this spike. Domestic premium segment still shedding over 3 pts to 30.8 share of beer $$ and subpremium share loss is worse for the week than YTD. Tho imports shifted from slight share gain for yr to sizable 0.9 share loss for the week despite posting 16% gain. And gotta note, beer continued to lose share to wine & spirits as total wine $$ sales (+32%) and total spirits…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 79
Beer and alc bev sales are now outpacing total consumer goods, separate Nielsen update showcases. Total fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales “started to slow” vs March pantry loading periods, said veep Danelle Kosmal, tho $$ still grew 11% for week ending Apr 4. Alc bevs collectively “far outpacing those trends,” up 25% in Nielsen off-prem channels, including spirits (+33%), wine (+32%) and beer (+19%) for period. Notably, the week of 3/21 was peak pantry loading period by several metrics, including sales growth across all consumer goods, “number of households buying, the amount they purchased per trip, and the number of trips.” For alc bevs, there were 25% more households purchasing spirits, 19% more purchasing beer/FMB/cider and 12% more purchasing wine thruout March vs prior yr.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 22
  • Issue # 79
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