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Beer Still Up 20% in Nielsen for 1-Wk Thru Jun 13; Closing the Gap Between Spirits & Wine? – EXPRESS 6/22/20 Even with “steady slowing of growth since early May,” beer and total alc bevs are still growing above 20% off premise on a week-to-week basis, Nielsen veep of Bev Alc Practice Danelle Kosmal showed in latest weekly update. Gap between beer and total alc bev growth pace notably narrowed as beer/FMB/cider category $$ grew 20.3% and total alc bevs grew 21.2% for 1 wk thru Jun 13 in Nielsen All Outlet data. In fact, total beer outpaced wine category (+20.1%) for first time since COVID-19 pantry-loading period began. Spirits grew 25% in Nielsen data for period, tho had been outpacing beer by wider margin thruout pandemic.
Yerbae Becomes Latest Outside Brand to Enter Pepsi Bottling NY – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 6/22/20 Something is afoot at Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co of NY. The unit of Honickman Group has just picked up another outside brand, Yerbae Enhanced Sparkling Water, on heels of bringing in plant-water-based Treo and restaged Orangina, indicating that once-sacrosanct bastion of PepsiCo brands now is in the hunt. In the past, Honickman steered outside innovation to its Canada Dry NY operation, which boasts lesser reach, especially in up-&-down-street (UDS) channel that’s still crucial in NY. As for Yerbae, an energy entry powered by yerba mate, move marks return to NY DSD presence after exiting unaligned Big Geyser earlier this year.
White Claw Variety Pack #2 is #1 Growth Brand; Top 7 $$ Share Growth Brands All Seltzers – EXPRESS 6/23/20 White Claw Variety Pack 2 is now easily #1 growth brand in industry and nowhere near supplying demand. It got 1.2 share of total $$ (12 share of seltzer) in Nielsen all outlet for 4 weeks thru 6/13. What’s more, Variety Pack 1 is #2 growth brand, up 0.9 share of $$. Bud Light Seltzer and Truly Lemonade Variety Packs each got 0.7 share of $$ and were #3 and #4 growth brands respectively.
Sam Adams $$ Up YTD thru Jun 13; But Dogfish Yet to Get the Boston Bump in Nielsen – CRAFT 6/23/20 Boston Beer’s craft beer biz is on track to turn around multi-year slide in off-premise scan data as Sam Adams $$ now slightly growing YTD and Dogfish Head is adding incremental biz thru 1st half of the year. But their growth remains modest nearly halfway thru 2020 in Nielsen All Outlet data, and with total Boston Beer biz up 55% $$ YTD thru Jun 13, craft beer continues to become less of the total picture. In fact, Truly hard seltzer made up over half of Boston Beer’s total sales for 4 wks; 54.5% of volume and 52% of $$ sales. Twisted Tea accounted for 24% of $$ and volume for 4 wks. And Angry Orchard at 9% of volume and near 11% of $$. That leaves just 10-11% for Sam Adams brand family and 2-2.5% for all other Boston Beer brands, including Dogfish.
OWYN Augments DSD Commitment, Starting with Honickman – BEVERAGE BUSINESS 6/24/20 Particularly as ecommerce comes on strong and pandemic stunts small-format retailers, increasing # of early-stage brands entering their fast-growth phase have asked themselves: do we really need DSD? After gingerly testing waters in NY and Southern Calif over past 2 years, plant protein brand OWYN has come to decisive conclusion: very much so. So it’s about to dramatically build out its DSD network, starting with move into big Mid-Atlantic territory serviced by Honickman Group’s Canada Dry div this summer, with discussions well along with prospective partners in regions like New England and Southwest.
Shipments Hole Deepens; Domestic Brewers’ Dropped a Mil Bbls in May; Reported YTD Loss Near 3% – EXPRESS 6/25/20 While off-premise scan trends stay strong, reported shipments continue very soft. Domestic brewers’ taxpaid shipments down 1 mil bbls, -6.6% in May, estimates Beer Inst. That follows 700K-bbl drop in Apr, modest declines in Q1. For 5 mos, taxpaids off 1.9 mil bbls, -2.8%. With weak imports too thru Apr, -500K bbls, -4%, reported total shipments -2.4 mil bbls, -3% yr-to-date. Gotta note, as Beer Inst reminds, expect “significant revisions” to final shipments figures as TTB postponed reporting requirements and payment due dates. So, still tuff to suss how much on-premise lockdown offset off-premise gain.
Dogfish Will Be Boston’s Top Priority in Jul; Gets $2 Mil Spend Jul-Aug; Celebrates 25th Anniversary – CRAFT 6/26/20 Dogfish Head will be #1 priority of Boston Beer’s sales force in focus month of July, founder Sam Calagione told CBN, reflecting on co’s 25th anniversary, current biz and future plans. Focus for the mo will be just 3 brands, 60-Minute IPA, Sea Quench and Slightly Mighty, all now aiming for the same price point. And Boston will spend $2 mil on mktg those brands in July and August, almost all spent on social media.
Do State Taxes Really Impact Alcohol Consumption? No Clear Trend for Spirits – ALCOHOL ISSUES 6/26/20 Public health advocates have made “raise alcohol excise taxes” a rallying cry for decades. The World Health Organization considers it a “best buy” among alcohol policy options. Consumers, most government officials and policymakers, not to mention the industry, tend to take a more skeptical view of taxes. Public health advocates firmly believe that higher taxes, by driving prices up, will inevitably reduce problem drinking and per capita consumption levels. Would they? Of course, drastic price changes would impact sales of any product. But alcohol consumers tend to be pretty loyal to their liquids, especially heavy drinkers, as recent events have proved once again.
AB CMO Marcel Marcondes in Cannes Lion Keynote: “Don’t Get Back to Normal, Instead Get Better” – EXPRESS 6/26/20 These are “tough times” and COVID has had a “massive impact,” began AB chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes in keynote to Cannes Lion Virtual conference early this afternoon, viewed in 100 countries. “Can you imagine beer existing without bars, without concerts, with restaurants closed, no sports events? That’s crazy,” said Marcel. “We were freaking out about the business,” Marcel said. “It was terrifying…. We exist to bring people together. That’s the role of beer.” But changes “of this magnitude” are also “opportunity,” said Marcel. “What we know as normal will no longer exist. You know what, that’s great. If we take this opportunity to learn, to change, we won’t be willing to get back to normal, because we will get much better.”
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