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INSIGHTS Weekly Digest

 Vol 1, No 9   July 6, 2020

 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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Announcing Beer & Beyond at the Half 2020; mid-year review webinar from Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS  Half-full or half-empty, 2020 is half over: time to review what made the last 6 months so remarkable and how the US beer biz shapes up halfway through the year. Join us for Beer & Beyond at the Half 2020, the latest Beer Insights webinar, coming Wednesday, August 12 at 1pm ET. Presented by BMI prexy and publisher Benj Steinman, with special guest Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business INSIGHTS, Beer & Beyond at the Half 2020 will deliver a detailed, data-focused and dynamic mid-year review of the US beer and beverage industry. Register now for this exclusive 90-minute webinar.

More Trouble With Bang: Didn't Sign or Commit on Transfer/Inventory/Billback Payments with Group of Distribs; Is Suit Coming? – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 6/29/20  Earlier this mo, Bang made termination payments to a group of distributor clients of Christopoulos Law Group (which represents about 20 distribs in all), said principal Dimitri Christopoulos. But it was more “hit or miss” on whether it paid for inventory and billbacks (for items like case incentives and samples). On Fri, with 2d group of wholesalers, Bang refused to sign agreements or commit to the payments for inventory and billback within 14 days that were supposed to accompany transfer of brand rights. This once again leads to distributor speculation about whether Bang can/will make good on its commitments.

Craft Cans Over Half of Packaged Sales for 4 Wks in Nielsen; 13 Wks by Volume – CRAFT 6/30/20  The scale keeps tippin’ toward cans in scans. Craft cans officially crossed the 50% mark, making up over half of total craft segment $$ sales in Nielsen All Outlet data for the latest 4 wks thru Jun 13, latest report shows. Craft cans grew 34.5% to nearly $250 mil while craft bottles slipped 0.5% to $242 mil for period. Can volume is over half of segment sales for latest 13 wks too, collectively making up all of craft segment’s growth in scans these days.

STZ STRs Up 5.6% Mar-May; Shipments Down 7%; Oper Income Fla – EXPRESS 7/1/20  Constellation sales-to-retailers stayed strong during early part of pandemic period. STRs up 5.6% in STZ’s fiscal Q1, including 12% depletions growth for its lead horse, Modelo Especial. And selling-day-adjusted Constellation “generated nearly 7% depletion growth,” co said. That’s better than last yr and especially striking considering a whopping 75% drop on-premise plus dramatically reduced production in Mexico in Apr-May after beer biz declared non-essential (tho STZ still produced some). But shipments down 6 mil cases, 7% Mar-May. That swing from shipments to depletions over 12%, about widest we’ve seen.  

Corona Hard Seltzer Shipped Over 3 Mil Cases; Ballast Point Sold for $41.1 Mil; Stock Up 7%EXPRESS 7/1/20  Constellation Brands very upbeat on its conference call and no wonder, as it continued to grow thru pandemic period so far and its stock up 7% as STZ beat earnings estimates. CEO Bill Newlands focused lotsa attention on Corona Hard Seltzer, which shipped over 3 mil cases in qtr, grew to near 6 share of seltzer in IRI and achieved 65% ACV (distribution). All that with just a variety pack and it’s 90% incremental to Constellation’s existing biz, according to Bill; plus individual flavors will come later this yr. Not talked about on conference call, but part of latest govt filing: Constellation sold Ballast Point for $41.1 mil on Mar 2, 2020. From $1 bil down to $41.1 mil in 4.5 yrs. That’s a lot of value that went down the drain.

Coca-Cola Shutting Down Odwalla Cold-Juice Brand, Dissolving DSD at Month’s End; Highlights Continuing Challenges of Cold-Chain Distribution – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 7/1/20  Coca-Cola ceo James Quincey likes to use the harsh word “zombies” to describe brands that aren’t cutting it and need to be dealt with decisively, as in “kill the zombies.” Count the storied Odwalla refrigerated juice brand – originally sold out of a van by 3 jazz musicians trying to make ends meet – as one such zombie. KO has decided to kill the brand as of Jul 31, around its 40th anniversary, in process dissolving its cold-channel DSD network, as it makes hard choices on where it can find future growth. 

How Do You Market in Pandemic Amidst Social Unrest? Gingerly, Spend Less; Cents Per Case? – BEER MARKETER'S 7/2/20  These are extraordinary times and advertisers of all stripes (not just beer) struggled through a series of wrenching changes in their marketing approaches. And even tho they had plans to spend big, they are spending less. Much less. But what didn’t change for many was the cents per case mktg fees they charged distribs. Call it the clock that kept on ticking. 

Concerns Continue Over Drinking Rates during Pandemic; Myths, Points & Counterpoints – ALCOHOL ISSUES 7/2/20  Are people drinking more during the pandemic, or not? While the hottest topic right now might be the fairness and appropriateness of the abrupt re-closing of bars in many US communities just in time for a national holiday, this broader question remains in the background. The Medical Xpress site reminded yesterday that “COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking.” Yet the evidence mustered to support this concern remains extremely thin.  

Montauk Brewing Up 22% in Jun; Hard Seltzer ~30% of Biz; #3 Craft Brand Family in NY FoodstoresCRAFT 7/2/20  Montauk Brewing is another craft co able to grow thru pandemic pains with an extra lift from new hard seltzers catchin’ fire. Montauk grew 22% in Jun, posting its biggest mo on record with just under 100K cases sold, co-founder Vaughan Cutillo and recently hired sales veep and beer/cider biz vet Terry Hopper shared with CBN. As co celebrated its 8th anniversary in biz this week, Vaughan reflected that June 2020 was more volume than it shipped in all of 2015. Montauk sales continue to cross new milestones regardless, passing Brooklyn to become 3rd largest craft brand family (including hard seltzers) in NY IRI foodstores for most recent period, only behind Blue Moon and Sam Adams. 

Imports Whacked Again in May, Down 44%; -13% YTD EXPRESS 7/2/20  Import shipments truly takin’ it on the chin right now. Following 5% hit in Mar, 23% decline in Apr, import dropoff ballooned to -1.6 mil bbls, -44% in May, reports Beer Inst based on Commerce Dept data. Each of top 10 source countries suffered double-digit declines for the mo, ranging from down mid-teens from Netherlands and Italy, to -50% for Mexico and Germany. Yr-to-date import shipments already down 2 mil bbls, 13%.

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 Beer and Beyond At The Half 2020

Mid-Year Review Webinar from Beer Marketer’s Insights
US Beer Industry Review at the Half presented by Benj Steinman with special guest
Gerry Khermouch 

on Non-Alc Opportunities for the Beer Industry
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
1pm Eastern Time
90-minutes including Q&A

Click Here to Register