Want to help drive continued trade up in US beer? Looking to not just grow with other above premium beers, but gain share of above premium biz too? Gotta grow strong double digits for that these days. In milestone year when above premium beer segments (imports, craft, superpremium, FMBs, cider) passed half of total beer $$ in off-premise scans, craft as a whole is not participating in that growth. That’s seltzer for ya.
Total above premium (AP) biz up 10.7% by $$ in Nielsen all outlet + convenience yr-to-date thru Nov 16. Gained 3.3 share of beer $$ to 51.9. Nearing 40 share of off-premise beer volume too. But within the high end of beer biz, FMBs gobbling up basically all of that and then some. Even imports, still easily the biggest high-end segment and up solid mid-to-high single digits YTD, losing share of high end biz. Imports shed 1.2 share of AP $$, slipping below 40 share of high end sales. Now just 40 share of AP volume too.
Since craft basically flat by volume, up just 1% by $$ in Nielsen scans, it’s losing even more share of above premium biz, -1.8 to 18.7 share of high-end volume. Craft lost over 2 share of AP $$ YTD. At this time last yr, craft was clear #2 high-end segment by both $$ and volume. It’s still holding onto that title by $$ with 21.7 share. But both superpremium volume (mostly Mich Ultra Lt) and FMB volume (driven by seltzers) bigger than craft so far this yr. Superpremiums up 10% YTD, +0.2 share of high-end volume to 19.7. Was a point behind craft last yr, now a pt ahead. And above-premium FMBs flew past craft so far this yr. Up 3.5 share of AP cases to 19.2 share of volume. Closin’ in on craft by $$ too, now 19.8 share of AP $$. As always, Nielsen includes Blue Moon, Leinenkugel and Shock Top brands with craft, slowing segment growth by about 2 pts this yr, but boosting craft’s total size too. Regardless, how could another year of strong seltzer growth, expected by top players, flip high end of beer biz further?