IRI scans include hard seltzers with spirits/premium mixed cocktails, not beer/FMBs. So we usually don’t see details for some of hottest brands in 2017, especially over summer. But recent missive from consultant Bump Williams to clients broke out data for top 10 hard seltzer brands thru Sep 17 in IRI MULC data. That time period aligns very closely with IRI MULC we have for beer thru Sep 10. Add ’em in and you can see hard seltzers’ impact. Sales of these 10 brands thru mid-Sep: $87.1 mil, +$71.5 mil, a more than 5-fold increase. Top 4 sold $10-mil+ each: Truly Assorted, White Claw Assorted, White Claw Black Cherry, Spiked Margarita. Two more White Claw flavors and one more Truly sold $6-$8 mil each. These ain’t huge brands by any stretch: White Claw Assorted would have just made top 30 craft brands in $$ sales. But, collectively they would have impact if included with beer: top 10 hard seltzers alone would have boosted total beer sales trend to about +1.1% from reported +0.8% thru mid-Sep. And FMB category would go from -5% to down just 0.5%. Gotta figure if all seltzers included, FMBs about even yr-to-date in IRI.
Bump’s letter also confirms that flavors still far less a factor in beer than spirits. Even if you include hard seltzer revs with beer, FMBs would be about 6.7% of scan $$. But “through YTD 17, Flavored Spirits account for just under one-third of Total spirits dollar sales” in IRI MULC, Bump points out, and “19 of the top 25 growing brands,” (including a coupla hard seltzers) are flavored. Flavored craft beers also enjoying some of best growth in that category too, Bump adds.