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INSIGHTS Weekly Digest

 Vol 1, No 14   Aug 10, 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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Heineken USA Down “Low Teens” for Half; But Profits Up – EXPRESS 8/3/20  “In the USA, beer volume declined in the low teens,” Heineken reported. That’s even steeper than -9% INSIGHTS estimated. Growth off premise “not sufficient to offset declines” on premise, co said. But Heineken brand shipments “broadly stable, supported by the growth of Heineken 0.0.” Meanwhile, Tecate trend “improved” since March “relaunch” but was “affected by supply disruptions from Mexico.” And Dos Equis “significantly impacted.” Surprisingly, given big volume decline, Heineken showed “profit growth in the USA.” 

Diageo Beer Co USA Slowed in 1st Half, But Still Up Mid-Singles, with FMBs/Seltzer Up Double-Digits – EXPRESS 8/4/20  Diageo Beer Co volume +7% for 12 mos thru Jun 2020, parent co announced, and organic net revenue trend +8%. With pandemic hitting right around St Patrick’s Day and closure of MD brewery, Diageo’s beer biz took a hit, natch. Beer net sales down 5% for 12 mos, after having been up 5% for 6 mos thru Dec ’19. Suggests a double-digit dropoff Jan-Jun. 

Traditional IPA Outgrowing Hazy in Nielsen, But Hazy’s the Main Share Gainer, Per Bump CRAFT 8/4/20  Traditional IPAs and Hazy IPAs are #5 and #6 top beer growth styles in scans, according to data shared in latest Bump Williams Consulting monthly update. Traditional IPAs still adding more incremental $$ to beer than hazy IPAs, as traditional IPAs grew 13%, $97.7 mil while hazy IPAs up 79%, $78.6 mil YTD thru Jul 11 in Nielsen All Outlet + liquor data. “The return to form for many long-standing IPAs” thruout pandemic has “gone a long way to moving the needle,” Bump notes, tho hazy IPAs “poised for a LOT of continued growth,” in his view.

Classic Claims Diageo “Connived” with Reyes to Force it to Accept “Low-Ball Offer” Far from FMV – EXPRESS 8/5/20  Lawsuit filed by Classic Dist and Bev Group in Calif vs Diageo (see Jul 29 Express) seeks millions in damages, basically the difference between the fair mkt value of its distribution rights and the “low-ball offer” Reyes made to Classic that “Diageo forced Classic to accept.” Complaint heavily redacted in several sections, specifically regarding details of Classic’s distribution contract with Diageo. But Classic claims that “Diageo connived with Reyes to strong-arm Classic into accepting a ‘fire sale’ price for Classic’s rights so Diageo could avoid paying fair market value compensation.” 

After Tumbling 33% in Apr-May, Imports Down Just 15% in Jun; -2.6 Mil Bbls, -14% YTD – EXPRESS 8/5/20  Vast improvement in shipments trend from Mexico in Jun meant vast improvement in overall import trend for the month. Still, imports dropped another half-mil bbls, 15.1% in Jun, following 23% hit in Apr and -44% disaster in May. Key Mexican shipments trend improved from tanking nearly 50% in May to off just 8% in Jun. But Dutch shipments got creamed in Jun, -42%, after holding steady thru May. Trends for 6 mos a sea of red.

Monster Bev Manages Flat Sales, 7% Income Growth during Covid Crisis; Plenty Percolating Outside Energy Sector, But No Launch Decisions Made Yet BEVERAGE BUSINESS 8/5/20  Monster Beverage weathered its pandemic-infected 2d qtr by managing to keep sales flat at $1.09 bil and boosting operating income by 7.5%. On investor call, ceo Rodney Sacks wasn’t ready to shed any light on groundwork being laid to participate in segments outside the energy sector, including on alcohol side, now that contractual restrictions with partner Coca-Cola have fallen away. Plenty of concepts are in development and some have reached consumer-testing stage, but co has made no decisions about what brands to launch in what sectors, Sacks said.

CBA Shipments Dropped 10% in Q2: 13% Package Lift Couldn’t Offset 87% Draft Hit – CRAFT 8/6/20  Remarkable bifurcation of beer biz in early 2020 depicted clearly in 2nd qtr results posted by Craft Brew Alliance yesterday afternoon. With on-premise almost entirely shutdown in Apr-Jun period, CBA draft shipments decimated, down 87% in Q2, a loss of over 44K bbls. But, like other major craft brewers, off-premise biz flew. CBA made up just over half of its draft loss with a 12.7%, 22,500-bbl gain in packaged sales across its portfolio. But that still netted out to a 9.6% volume loss in the quarter, all-in. 

People Moves: Stone CEO Dominic Resigned; Simon Thorpe Leaving Lion – CRAFT 8/6/20  Coupla interesting personnel developments with big craft implications going forward. First, Stone CEO Dominic Engels resigned and co-founder Steve Wagner stepping into interim CEO role as co searches for full-time replacement, co confirmed with CBN following Brewbound report. Move came as a surprise to many. Meanwhile, Lion USA managing director, Simon Thorpe, who was key in putting together Lion deal to buy New Belgium, has left the co after 18 mos when contract expired. Recall, Lion looking to put together a scale US craft and other bev platform under moniker Lion Little World Beverages. And New Belgium is still just “first step,” sez Simon.

Mike’s Missing 1 Mil Bbls of Sales This Summer; White Claw Still Up 200%, Co Up 110% – EXPRESS 8/7/20  Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co slowed to 61% volume gain last 4 weeks thru 7/25 in Nielsen all-outlet, with White Claw V-pack 1 decelerating to 32% growth in same period. White Claw share of seltzer volume dipped to 43.5 for 4 weeks, tho still 50.5% yr-to-date (53 share of $$). Lotsa distribs recently expressed some frustration with Mike’s inability to meet demand. So we reached out to Mike’s prexy Phil Rosse for the latest. White Claw depletions still up 200% and Mike’s as a company up 110% yr-to-date, Phil told INSIGHTS. Yet “even though capacity has more than doubled already in 2020, total company depletions likely could have been 1 mil bbls higher (or in the range of 15M cases, across all brands, but primarily White Claw) if supply unconstrained,” noted Phil. 

Reyes Chicago Shuffle: Windy City Merged Into CBS for One Chi Town Entity by Mid-Oct – CRAFT 8/7/20  About 8 yrs after acquiring craft-centric Windy City Dist and running it as separate unit in Chicago metro, Reyes Beer Division will merge Windy City into Chicago Beverage Systems (CBS) forming one joint distrib entity for Chicagoland, co announced. Move expected to be complete by mid-Oct, touted as way “to realize the operational efficiencies and overall business benefits for our RBD team, as well as our suppliers and customers,” per Stephen Reyes, prexy of Reyes Beer Division East. Reyes bought Windy City from Two Brothers (James and Jason Ebel) for $70 mil, then about 1 mil cases of craft beer in addition to CBS’ then 8-mil case operation. In first years after that, Windy City grew rapidly, currently listed at 2.6 mil cases, according to co’s website.

Join Us This Week for the Beer & Beyond At the Half 2020 Webinar – Join us on Wednesday, August 12, for the Beer & Beyond at the Half 2020 webinar. This mid-year review webinar from Beer Marketer's Insights will dig into key data, give you exclusive insights, and review crucial developments. BMI prexy Benj Steinman will present an overview detailing how the US beer biz navigated the pandemic period. You'll also get a timely update on innovations and opportunities in non-alc bevs from Gerry Khermouch, editor of Express sibling-pub Beverage Business Insights. Benj and Gerry will then discuss the increasing overlap between the beer and beverage worlds and then you can pose your own questions to these experts. All in an action-packed 90 minutes, Wed 8/12 at 1pm ET, for just $200 per attendee. Sign up your whole team and save: multiple registrant discounts available. Get more details at and register today.  

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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