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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 2X a week. That's over 100 issues each year.

In each INSIGHTS Express, you'll find breaking news balanced with other info you just won't see elsewhere.International news.Articles about smaller brewers.Trends in other industries that bear on the US beer biz. Alcohol policy issues. Statistical snapshots. And much, much more.

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Yesterday afternoon, Constellation Brands Beer Division prexy Paul Hetterich and chief commercial officer Bruce Jacobson met with two of its larger longtime SoCal distribs, Ace (Anderson family) and Triangle (Heimark) family. The message: the same as it was to Markstein, Bev Co i.e. “we want you out.” In about 30 days. Constellation reportedly meeting with a 3d distrib in Southern Calif today. At Meeting, Mgt Sez Letter Coming; Must Sell Within 30 Days “Nobody has offered to buy my Constellation business,” Triangle ceo Peter Heimark told INSIGHTS about this meeting. “I have not offered to sell my Constellation business,” he added. But Constellation “made it very clear that they don’t want me to be their partner.” In fact, execs told him that he would be receiving a letter Friday that said he has 30 days to sell his biz. Or else be terminated. INSIGHTS understands meetings with Ace and 3d distrib will deliver same stark message. Recall, Constellation contract has provision that sez if Constellation terminates distrib without cause, distrib has right to sell within 30 days or Constellation only has to pay 2x gross profit. Tho Markstein believed Constellation “did not have a contractual or legal right to terminate…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 168
Even with very solid pop in Jul shipments showing up in states too, as well as in US taxpaid estimate, still lotsa soft numbers in biggest beer mkts thru Jul. State shipments scored 8% gain in Jul, 2 pts better than domestic brewers’ taxpaid estimate, Beer Inst economist Michael Uhrich figures (state shipments include imports). For 7 mos, he’s got state shipments down just below 1 mil bbls, -0.8%. But only 2 of top-10 biggest mkts show gain for 7 mos: Pennsy shipments up 81K bbls, 1.7% and NC shipments +40K bbls, 1.1%. Top 4 biggest mkts – Calif, Tex, Fla and NY – each down and combined shed 680K bbls, 1.7%. Those 4 states, about 1/3 of total biz, represented about 2/3 of total dropoff. Calif, Tex, Fla and NY down 1.9%, 0.8%, 3.1% and 1.5% respectively thru Jul. Other top-10 states down in range of -0.3% (IL) to -4.1% (GA). All in, top-10 states -800K bbls, -1.2% for 7 mos. Other gainers thru Jul? Each of 8 Mountain region states, plus Wash, a couple in New Eng, 3 in Mid-Atlantic and 3 in Midwest. In addition to Jul gain, Michael posted a few positive notes in report last…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 163
Recall, assn of Tennessee liquor store owners asked US Sup Ct to review case they (and the state) lost, tossing TN residency requirements (see Jul 26 Express). That case opened door for Total Wine to open store there (it’s already open). But Total argues Sup Ct should not review this case. That’s while Total won clear victories in US Dist Ct and US Appeals Ct, plus some slam-dunk language. Tenn retailers want to use case to get US Supreme Ct to clarify that its Granholm decision barring states from discriminating vs out-of-state entities applies only to products and producers, thus allowing states to discriminate vs out-of-state wholesalers and retailers, under 21st Amendment. (Wholesaler advocates take same position, but not enthusiastic about using TN case to resolve question.) But Total, despite its wins here, sez “this case is not an appropriate vehicle to clarify whether Granholm” would allow states to “enact blatantly discriminatory laws to protect local retailers” under guise of regulating alc bevs. Why not? Among many reasons, Total points out that TN residency laws especially egregious. In effect they required 9-yr residency for owners, including all officers, directors and even shareholders if a corporation sought liquor store license. Same…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 162
AB InBev ceo Brito’s comments on conference call about AB’s “portfolio approach” in US (“testing many concepts at the same time”) sent us into IRI data to take quick peek at AB’s current US portfolio. Across all off-premise channels, IRI lists 391 separate AB brands (brands, not SKUs) that recorded some sales in 2018 so far. Here’s the thing. Top 25 AB brands (ranked by yr-to-date volume, and every AB brand that sold at least 1 mil cases in IRI MULC YTD) represented fully 96% of AB volume, 94% of AB $$. What’s more, trend for those brands collectively, volume -2.3%, $$ sales -1.2%, very close to AB’s overall trend thru Jul 15 in IRI MULC: volume -2%, $$ sales -0.9%. Remarkably similar story at MC. IRI lists 204 MC brands that recorded sales so far this yr. MC’s top 25 brands were 94% of its total volume yr-to-date, 92% of $$ sales. Collective trend: volume -2.7%, $$ -2.4%, closely tracking MC’s total volume -2.8%, $$ -2.7%. Can’t help but contrast that with industry’s best performers right now: Constellation has long touted its tight portfolio, tho it’s expanded quite a bit in recent years. And recall that Mike’s growth accelerated…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 143
While total Corona franchise up strong (8-9% depending on period), more and more of franchise volume came from very successful natl rollout of Corona Premier and expansion of Familiar. In Jun, Premier made up 8.9% of Corona volume, while Familiar made up 4.8%, wrote RBC’s Nik Modi. Earlier in yr, Familiar sold more than Premier in a month. Starting in May, Premier bigger. That accelerated in Jun. Nik also cited some Infoscout data on demographics of Corona Premier drinkers showing them to be typically older, whiter, more affluent and suburban. So it’s hitting a different audience. (Sample is just 328 shoppers, but data still interesting.) Infoscout found that 29% were age 45-54, 65% were white, 42% made over $80K and 47% lived in suburbs.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 138
Less than a year after eliminating High End sales force, to tune of approx 350 positions, with aim to “simplify” sales org, AB announced another High End reorg yesterday. This one aims to “better align our team and our resources with our five strategic pillars,” according to message from Biz & Wholesaler Development (BWD) veep Bob Tallett to distribs. High End biz unit will be split: one entity will be “dedicated craft structure” focused on AB’s 12 craft partners in their “local and regional markets” and continue to be led by Felipe Szpigel. Those partners “have consistently delivered strong results and we see even greater opportunity here moving forward,” Bob wrote. Meanwhile, other brands in High End portfolio will fall under AB’s existing core sales/mktg units: imports (Stella, Estrella, Hoegaarden, etc), “national craft big bets” (including natl programs for Goose IPA/Elysian Space Dust) and US-produced super premium brands, including Michelob Ultra, which was always part of core units. New High End sales team reports to sales veep Brendan Whitworth. Marketing “will be integrated and led” by US mktg veep Marcel Marcondes. Changes align High End with AB InBev’s “global blueprint” in three ways, Bob wrote: a natl High End portfolio,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 20
  • Issue # 132
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