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US Stars In Brutal Qtr for ABI; AB Shipments Down 1% (Excerpt) 

ABI continued on path of modest rev and profit growth in its largest mkt, US, but got clobbered elsewhere in beginning of pandemic period.  In US, AB shipments down 1%.  Revs up 1.9% as rev per hectoliter up 3%.  And AB EBITDA up 2.7% in 1st qtr, with margin expanding to 39.7%.   But AB sales to retailers down 0.7%, compared to Molson Coors up 0.4%. Typically, AB STR trends 1 point or more better than Molson Coors. Meanwhile, AB figures total industry STRs up 0.3% in 1st qtr. So it estimates it lost 0.5 share. (AB down about 2 share in Nielsen all outlet yr-to-date). 

AB grew its seltzer volume almost 600% while seltzers up about 300%, said ABI.  “We currently underindex,” ABI added, “but we are gaining market share in that segment led by the successful launch of Bud Light Seltzer.”  AB portfolio “delivered meaningful dollar growth for the industry in Q1,” said ABI, as Michelob Ultra, Bud Light Seltzer Variety Pack and Busch Light “among the top 10 brands contributing to growth.”  AB gained almost 1 full share point “above core,” it said, led by “Ultra family, our innovations and our regional craft portfolio.”  But mainstream “remained under pressure…with our core, core light and value brands losing an estimated 140 bps (basis points) of market share.” 


May 7, 2020; INSIGHTS Express, Vol 22, No 101


Constellation on Allocation Thru May 

Constellation will also prescribe orders to distribs for 2d half of mo (previously had only said thru May 17), meaning they’re on allocation and Constellation is controlling ordering, a new memo to distribs effectively said. “In an effort to give distributors line of sight to the full month of May as quickly as possible,” Constellation sr veep operations John Kester wrote distribs yesterday, “updated order confirmations for deliveries beginning Monday, May 18 through Sunday, May 31st will be sent out to distributors.” John encourages distribs to “continue to place orders this week” for June, “so we can take those into consideration and respond to the updated demand in your particular markets.  We greatly appreciate your flexibility as we work through this unprecedented situation.” 


 May 7, 2020; INSIGHTS Express, Vol 22, No 102