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INSIGHTS Weekly Digest

 Vol 2, No 9   Mar 1, 2021

 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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TX Storm Hits Hard; Lost Sales, Breweries Closed, Transportation Issues; Recovery? – EXPRESS 2/22/21 The “once in a lifetime” storm that hit Texas, as one distrib called it, had huge short-term impact on beer biz, not just in TX. Most TX distribs couldn’t even sell beer for most of last week. So short-term sales down dramatically. And effect exacerbated by closing of AB and Molson Coors breweries in Houston and Fort Worth most of last week. Those effects extended far beyond TX. One distrib far from TX said his co on restricted supply from TX brewery and didn’t know when normal shipping would resume.

Sapporo USA Looks to Bounce Back in 2021; Sapporo Pure and Anchor’s 3 New Brands – EXPRESS 2/24/21 Sapporo USA faced a particularly challenging 2020 in imported and craft beer (following its 2017 acquisition of Anchor), especially with disproportionate share of both its import and craft biz on-premise. Yet Japanese parent co still looks to US for growth and will be launching several new brands in 2021. Indeed, “North America is the most important strategic market to grow,” Sapporo USA chairman Kenny Sadai told INSIGHTS. Sapporo’s big news for 2021 is launch of Sapporo Pure, a light beer with 90 calories, 2.4 carbs and 4% ABV, aimed at a younger, more health-conscious consumer. Meanwhile, Anchor Brewing undergoing a “rejuvenation” in branding, packaging and more in 2021. It will launch 3 new beers that address “gaps” in portfolio, including a Tropical Hazy, a Crisp Pilsner and Little Weekend, a 100-calorie golden ale with mango flavor. 

Oatly Moving Ahead with IPO, Reuters Reports, and Numbers May Be Staggering – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 2/24/21 Oatmilk pioneer Oatly is ready to expand even further – and reward its high-profile investor roster – with filing of plans for initial public offering, said to be planned before this summer, Reuters reported. It cited Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse as global coordinators for move, per its unidentified sources. Oatly, recall, raised about $200 mil just in Jul, led by Blackstone and including likes of Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z and former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz. Those familiar “sources close to the matter” peg Oatly’s valuation at “more than $5 billion, possibly up to $10 billion.” Yowza.

AB Revs, EBITDA Inched Up in 2020, STR Market Share Loss Narrowed from 50 to 5 Bips, It EstimatesEXPRESS 2/25/21 While AB unable to maintain momentum built in Q3, it closed out pandemic-challenged year with modest revenue and EBITDA growth. Shipments to wholesalers came in at -1.7% for the yr. But US revenues +0.8% in 2020, AB InBev reported this morning, since rev per bbl rose 2.6% as above premium again outperformed mainstream brands. So, AB’s US EBITDA inched up 0.2%, tho there was “slight margin compression” of 24 basis points (bps) to 40.4%. Globally, ABI reported “own beer” volumes -5.8% in 2020, attributing decline to pandemic. 

KDP Scores Strong Sales Gains in Coffee Pods, CSDs, Bottled Water; Surprise Dividend Hike Won’t Stunt Spending, CEO Gamgort Assures – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 2/25/21 Keurig Dr Pepper rode strong volume gains in its Keurig coffee franchise and its CSDs and other packaged bevs to 6.4% net sales gain to $3.12 bil in its 4th qtr, in what some investors were taking as a sign that economy is poised to come roaring back once we get past worst of pandemic. In a sign of anticipated robust growth, KDP made surprise move to raise its dividend by 25% while assuring shareholders it will continue to invest heavily in marketing, innovation and technology. But operating income slipped 1.8% to $700 mil, in part because of hefty non-cash impairment charge of $67 mil taken against underperforming Bai brand. For full year, net sales were up 4.5% to $11.62 bil. 

Good Start: Taxpaid Shipments +302K Bbls, +2.4% in Jan, Sez BI; 2020 #s Gettin’ Better All the Time – EXPRESS 2/25/21 Double-dose of good news from Beer Inst on industry shipments today. First, domestic brewers got off to good start in Jan with taxpaid shipments up an estimated 302K bbls, +2.4%. Second, TTB keeps adding bbls to fall ’20 numbers and current Beer Inst figures for calendar 2020 now show small 171K-bbl, 0.1% gain for the year. Toss in imports and total biz in 2020 looks like a lot like 2019: up about 0.5%. More revisions coming, but it’s getting better.

In-State Brewers Down 3% in OR in 2020; Big Ninkasi Pop, Plus Hop Valley, Pelican, Full Sail, Ecliptic Stand OutsCRAFT 2/26/21 Oregon in-state brewers collectively declined and lost share of total beer in OR for the first time in many yrs, 2020 Oreg Liquor Control Commission data suggests. While total beer/malt bev/cider shipments dipped 2.3% to 2,890,807 bbls in OR, in-state brewers declined about 3% to ~745K bbls in OR, we estimate. So Oreg brewers shed 0.3 share of state shipments to 25.8. Keep in mind, that’s still one of the highest in-state share totals in the country and most aren’t even close. That’s also much better than natl craft volume trend, down ~8%. But an already competitive mkt coupled with Covid-19 challenges led to several declines among locals big and small.

More In-Depth State Level Data (and Much More!) in Upcoming Craft Update Webinar Series If you’re interested in more in-depth views of state data in OR and a handful of other mkts, as well as an exclusive look at data and analysis of national craft brewer shipments, retail scans, and much more, check out this year’s Craft Update Webinar series! Part I is coming right up on Wednesday, Mar 3, featuring national data and analysis, before Part II follows on April 28, taking a closer look at state and city-level data. Both webinars start at 1pm Eastern and run 90 minutes. But don’t worry if you can’t make the scheduled time – we will send the presentation deck, supplemental data reports and video/audio recording of the presentation. Register today: $150 for one part, $250 for both. Significant savings available for groups of 5 or more team members. More info at

Another Survey Suggests A Recent Drinking Decline Rather than An Increase ALCOHOL ISSUES 2/26/21 Weeks after Silicon Valley Bank’s wine analyst Rob McMillan called for a more aggressive response from within the wine industry to “neo-prohibitionists,” the Wine Market Council released new survey data from Nielsen that shows vintners are indeed thinking about consumption trends and health issues around their products and other alcohol beverages. Notably, the vast majority of drinkers surveyed last October-November said they were drinking the same or less compared to “a couple of years ago.”  Indeed, only 16% of all drinkers said they were drinking more, compared to 53% who said the same and 28% who said they were drinking less.  Only 10% said they were drinking more beer.  That inched up to 11% for spirits drinkers, 14% for wine drinkers.

Michel Doukeris Is “Front-Runner” to Succeed Brito, Sez Bloomberg; Announcement Expected by AprilEXPRESS 2/26/21 AB ceo Michel Doukeris “has emerged as the front-runner to succeed” ceo Brito at AB InBev, wrote Bloomberg today, citing “people familiar with the matter…. The board aims to announce a leadership change in the coming weeks,” wrote Bloomberg, “before the company’s annual general meeting in April.” While “a final decision hasn’t been made,” this “latest plan would elevate Doukeris to the CEO position later this year after a transition period,” those sources told Bloomberg. This is first article to add new info after Financial Times first published possibility of Michel succeeding Brito last fall. 

Monster Bev Scores 18% Sales Rise in Q4; Still Assessing Entry into Seltzer Wars – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 2/26/21 Monster Beverage notched another record quarter to close out year, reporting 17.6% rise in net sales to $1.2 bil, while continuing to assess whether it should launch assault on seltzer category. For full year, net sales grew 9.5% to $4.6 bil and operating income rose 16.4% to $1.63 bil. Still no definitive word on move into seltzer, alc or non-alc, as co continues to assess crowded landscape and whether it can offer meaningfully differentiated line. But CEO Sacks’ remarks suggested co may be leaning more toward non-alc launch that plays at intersection of clean energy and flavored sparkling water trends. Any such entry “would be an energy product, obviously,” he said, one that would play “in the clean energy area.” Of course, if it’s classed as an energy play, it may need to move to market via bottling system of its ally Coke, tho Sacks didn't go there. 

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 Craft Update 2021

By Beer Marketer’s Insights
Presented by Chris Shepard & David Steinman,
the Editors of Craft Brew News
March 3, 2021 - Part 1
April 28, 2021 - Part 2
1pm Eastern Time
90-minutes including Q&A

Click Here to Register