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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…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 185
Just like beer biz, spirits’ trends bounce around month to month. For example, control state liquor volume up 4.4% in Aug, NABCA just reported, following soft Jul, very strong Jun, etc. But look longterm and spirits’ health hangin’ in. Running 12-mo liquor volume in control states is +2.5% thru Aug. Yeah, that’s down slightly from 2016 trend, but just 0.2 off avg +2.7% for running 12-mo trends thru each of the last 16 months. Meanwhile, spirits’ dollar sales up 4.6% in control states for 12 mos thru Aug. By the way, spirits outperformed beer in each of 17 control states for 12 mos thru Aug, looking at Beer Inst estimates for state shipments. While spirits up in 15 of 17 control states for 12 mos, beer up in just 4. In biggest control mkts, beer off 0.7% in PA while spirits +2.9%; beer -2.7% in VA, spirits +2.8%; beer up 0.9% in NC, spirits +3.4%; beer -1.2% in MI, spirits +0.7%. Only state where it’s really close: beer +3% in OR for 12 mos, spirits +3.4%.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 181
Yet another example of Constellation Brands stepping up its big league sports sponsorship, and taking over deal that used to be AB or MC’s (like deal earlier this yr with Barclay’s arena, etc). Today, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Constellation announced multi-year deal, beginning in 2018, where Modelo Especial becomes exclusive beer and malt bev sponsor. “Uniting the passionate fans of UFC with Modelo, a brand that stands for the fighting spirit is an ultimate win for our consumers and our company,” said Ann Legan, mktg veep for Casa Modelo with Constellation Brands Beer Division. AB “held that title since 2008,” noted Fox Business News, and Bud Light “logo had frequently stamped the center of the octagon for UFC's biggest fights.” Modelo's multimillion-dollar deal is only US events. Modelo's “branding and signage will adorn the UFC cage and the company promised to feature UFC athletes and personalities in advertising,” noted Fox. “They want to get more into multicultural consumers,” said STZ cmo Jim Sabia to Fox. “We all benefit. They’re going to help take our brand into the general market consumer household.”

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 190
Just like beer biz, spirits’ trends bounce around month to month. For example, control state liquor volume up 4.4% in Aug, NABCA just reported, following soft Jul, very strong Jun, etc.  But look longterm and spirits’ health hangin’ in.  Running 12-mo liquor volume in control states is +2.5% thru Aug.  Yeah, that’s down slightly from 2016 trend, but just 0.2 off avg +2.7% for running 12-mo trends thru each of the last 16 months.  Meanwhile, spirits’ dollar sales up 4.6% in control states for 12 mos thru Aug. By the way, spirits outperformed beer in each of 17 control states for 12 mos thru Aug, looking at Beer Inst estimates for state shipments.  While spirits up in 15 of 17 control states for 12 mos, beer up in just 4.  In biggest control mkts, beer off 0.7% in PA while spirits +2.9%; beer -2.7% in VA, spirits +2.8%; beer up 0.9% in NC, spirits +3.4%; beer -1.2% in MI, spirits +0.7%.  Only state where it’s really close: beer +3% in OR for 12 mos, spirits +3.4%.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 181
AB continues to widen scope of brands used in suite of Super Bowl ads each yr, this time choosing to include Stella Artois in the mix, AB told wholesalers this morn.  Recall, in last couple yrs AB opted to put Busch (2017), Mich Ultra and Shock Top (in 2016) on Super Bowl stage in addition to Bud and Bud Light.  “Stella Artois will air a television commercial during the 2018 Super Bowl to support our ‘Buy A Lady A Drink’ campaign partnership with Water.org,” wrote Stella vp Harry Lewis.  Together, Stella and Water.org launched campaign aiming to provide additional 3.5 million people with access to clean water by 2020, “and this Super Bowl commercial will help us achieve our goal ahead of schedule,” he added. Stella seems like a natural next choice for AB to include during Super Bowl, with broad, charitable message. It’s up 15% YTD thru Sep 2 in Nielsen data, now nearly as large as Dos Equis in scans in terms of $$ sales. But it slowed to mid-singles in Q2, AB said.  “Buy A Lady A Drink” was already expected to be Stella’s “biggest campaign” ever in terms of investment, with TV ads starring actor Matt…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 176
Ain’t just big mkts where AB and MC strugglin’ to gain volume.  Current issue of our beer marketer’s INSIGHTS newsletter gives deep dive into top brewers’ shipments trends in biggest “reporting” states and regions Jan-Jun.   Shows AB and MC shedding volume pretty much across the board.  For example, each down near 3% in massive Calif mkt Jan-Jun and AB down near that in key Tex too.  But AB down less than 1% in Fla for 6 mos.  MC nearly held in Tex, but took 5.4% hit in Fla.  Each mostly down in remaining large reporting mkts, tho AB scored gains in OH and Ariz, MC up in Mich. How are they doin’ in “2d tier” mkts, i.e. next 10 largest reporting states?  Each of these states sells between 3.7-4.5 mil bbls annually and collectively represent about 20% of total US biz, vs about half for largest 10 reporting states.  Neither AB nor MC farin’ any better in these mkts.  In Northeast, AB down in 2% range in both Mass and NJ.  MC even softer, down 3-4%.  In Southeast, AB off just 0.8% in SC, but down 3.5-4.5% in Ala and Tenn. MC also nearly held in SC, off 2.2% in…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 19
  • Issue # 173
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The 2018 Beer Insights Spring Conference will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday evening, 5/16 -  and all day Thursday, 5/17