Category Archives: Beer

Coors Light has had a rough year, but not as bad as Bud Light

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By Greg Trotter
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-miller-coors-light-beer-decline-20171026-story.html

Coors Light, the second-best-selling beer in the U.S., is having a rough year.

The amount of Coors Light sold in stores in recent months has declined at a faster rate than even its slide of recent years, according to scan data and industry experts. The good news for Chicago-based MillerCoors? At least for now, Bud Light, the top-selling beer in the country made by competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev, is in even steeper decline.

Premium light beer, as it’s called in the industry, peaked in 2007 and 2008. Since then, many American drinkers have turned toward craft beer and Mexican imports; others have drifted into wine and spirits.

Make no mistake: MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev still sell an enormous amount of light beer in the U.S., just not as much as they once did. Combined, the two beer giants — which sell the vast majority of light beer in the U.S. — are down about 26 million barrels in shipments to wholesalers since 2008, according to figures provided by Beer Marketer’s Insights, an industry trade publication.

“They’re getting hit from all over. They’re really taking a lashing,” said Vince Trunzo, co-owner of Affiliated Marketing, a managing company of about 350 liquor stores in the Chicago area, including Armanetti, Miska’s and Cardinal stores.

Trunzo estimated that sales of premium light beer have been down about 4 to 5 percent a year in his stores. Meanwhile, sales of wine, spirits and craft beer have increased. Customers who used to buy a 24-pack of Coors Light are now getting a 12-pack — along with a sixer of craft beer, Trunzo said.

Trunzo said he’s not devoting any less shelf space to MillerCoors products just because the light beer is in decline.

“MillerCoors has been a good partner for many years. We’re not going to kill ’em because they’re going through a little struggle,” Trunzo said.

MillerCoors executives declined to comment during the quiet period leading up to parent company Molson Coors’ Wednesday earnings release.

But in a recent post on the company blog, MillerCoors noted that Coors Light case volume was down 3.4 percent year-to-date through Sept. 30, according to Nielsen data, compared with Bud Light, which was down 5.7 percent over the same period. Chief Marketing Officer David Kroll called it a “challenging year” for Coors Light in the blog post but said he expected next year to be better because of improved marketing and packaging.

To help offset such sales declines, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have both acquired craft breweries and introduced new brands in recent years. MillerCoors plans to roll out Two Hats, a fruity light beer aimed at millennials, and Arnold Palmer Spiked Half and Half early next year. MillerCoors also recently struck a 10-year deal to import and market Sol, the company’s first Mexican import beer.

There are obvious success stories in MillerCoors’ vast portfolio: Blue Moon keeps rising despite an overabundance of craft competitors. Leinenkugel had one of its best summers ever. Coors Banquet continues to grow. Hamm’s is going great as the hipster beer of the moment.

Still, it’s unclear at this point how MillerCoors will reach its publicly stated goal of revenue growth by 2019 if its two top-selling beers continue their slow descent.

Together, Miller Lite and Coors Light represent about 57 percent of the company’s business, said Eric Shepard, executive editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights.

“The numbers are the numbers. They’re going to have a very, very difficult time making up that volume,” Shepard said.

The future for light beer doesn’t look much brighter in bars and restaurants than it does in stores. On-premises sales of domestic light beer are projected to decrease another 1.2 percent this year, following five straight years of decline, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corp.

One exception to the domestic light beer fizzle: Michelob Ultra Light, owned by Anheuser-Busch, has been quietly blowing up, growing sales by double-digit percentages.

“To some degree, growth of one is coming at the expense of the other. It’s hard to grow two struggling brands in a shrinking category,” David Henkes, senior principal at Technomic, a Chicago-based market research firm, said of Miller Lite and Coors Light.

At Nisei Lounge, a beloved Wrigleyville dive bar, Miller Lite remains the top-beer, said Nisei Lounge beer buyer Pat Odon.

But what’s selling most on draft reflects how times and tastes have changed.

“Consumers at this specific bar have no interest in macro beers on draft, except Miller High Life,” Odon said. “On draft, people want IPA, IPA, IPA.”

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Craft Beer, Revenue, Sales & Profits, Uncategorized

Technomic Presents 2014 VIBE Awards to Leading Adult Beverage Companies

VIBE

Adult beverage suppliers rated as top performing partners by leading chain restaurant and hotel beverage professionals were recognized as Technomic presented the 2014 VIBE Supplier Awards during the VIBE Conference in Las Vegas last week. Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Craft Beer, Dave Henkes, Las Vegas, Liquor, Skinny, Spirits, VIBE, Wine

Time-Starved, Digitally Enabled, And Information-Entitled

Time Starved

Just because most people are time-starved doesn’t mean they aren’t shopping. The way people — particularly women — are shopping is what has changed. Technology enables women by providing access to detailed product information and reviews, meaning women are more information-entitled than ever.

To maintain relevance, brands need to understand the five tools that can help keep women actively engaged in the retail environment and convert them from being merely shoppers to buyers in-store. Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Craft Beer, Dave Henkes, Millenials, Press Release, Uncategorized

Moonshine is Growing in the U.S., and Big Whiskey Wants a Taste

Moonshine

For decades, most people had never even seen a jar of moonshine, let alone tasted it. These days, you can find it at stores and restaurants around the country thanks to loosened liquor laws and changing consumer preferences. Even the industry’s biggest distilleries are experimenting with moonshine.

Moonshine has been distilled in backwoods Appalachia since the 1800s. By its most traditional definition, the term means “illegal spirit,” Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Dave Henkes, Liquor, Marketing, Press Release, Spirits

FROM THE FLOOR: Beverage Dealers Help Diversify

Diversify

As restaurant operators look to make sure that beverages continue to be a strong and growing element of their businesses, there are plenty of drink suppliers, product developers, and manufacturers looking at ways to help them boost their sales.

Hundreds of them are showing their wares during the four-day National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show that continues its run in Chicago. A two-day sister confab, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, also kicked off Sunday.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Burger, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Liquor, Marketing, NRA Show, Press Release, Skinny, Spirits, Wine

Buying into Booze

 

Buying into Booze

Does the future of fast casual lie in alcohol?

Fast-casual restaurants were once able to claim premium food, modern décor, and all-around upscale service as hallmarks of their category. But with more quick-service chains retooling in those areas to compete for post-recession consumers, fast casuals have been left to search for new ways to differentiate their brands.

For many, that search has turned up something typically better suited to fine- and casual-dining joints: booze.

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Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Liquor, Marketing, Press Release, Quick Service, Skinny, Spirits, Wine

The top SD nightclubs?

San Diego

Six San Diego nightclubs — one fewer than Los Angeles — have made it onto a list of last year’s top money-making night spots in the U.S.

While San Diego had seven clubs on the list a year earlier, the latest ranking bested the city’s showing in 2010 when there were just four top-ranked venues. Dropping off from the current list is Whisky Girl, which had previously squeaked in at No. 97.

The top 100 roster is a joint effort of Technomic, a market research firm, and Nightclub & Bar, an industry trade group, who used both primary and secondary research to help compile the list. In addition, an online survey was conducted late last year of more than 1,400 nightclub, bar and lounge locations. Continue reading

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Filed under Alcohol, Bar, Beer, Dave Henkes, Hotels, Liquor, lounge, nightclub, Spirits, Wine