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While hard seltzers are stealing the show in beer (and total alc bev) biz by virtually every other measure, IPAs and ales are the fastest growing beer styles on Drizly’s platform for ordering beer online since COVID-19 hit, Drizly CEO Cory Rellas shared on webinar hosted by Evercore ISI analyst Robert Ottenstein. Lookin’ at yr-over-yr sales trends on Drizly (bolstered lately by influx of new users and retail accounts), IPAs accelerated from +333% on Mar 16 to +823% on Apr 13. And pale ales accelerated from +342% to +870% in that time. Liquor, Cordials, and Schnapps catch-all segment was the only other segment among all alc bevs that grew faster in that time, pickin’ up to +953% on Apr 13. Hard seltzers accelerated to “just” +555% on Apr 13. Indeed, “our consumer over-indexes craft” by 2X, Cory noted. Suggests craft has over 20 share of Drizly beer sales. “Higher price point beers” are “taking further and further share from the macros,” he added.Recall, Drizly is a software co that serves as 3d party mkt place aggregator for consumers to order alc bevs online for delivery. More rapid adoption of online sales following on-premise shutdowns helped drive Drizly’s biz to a…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 39
Lagunitas had its tuffest qtr yet in US since acquired by Heineken. Volume slipped “high-single digit,” parent co Heineken noted in its Q1 release. That follows low-single digit declines in US each of the last 2 yrs tho co continued to grow overall thanks to big increases internationally. But in Q1, Lagunitas US sales were softer than separately run Heineken USA unit (down mid-singles) for first time. So total Heineken sales in US took another tuff hit altogether, even as Heineken brand family grew low-singles driven by Heineken 0.0.Of course, COVID-19 played its part in impacting Q1 numbers, including some of Lagunitas’ largest mkts (i.e. NorCal) among earliest to shelter in place. Globally, Heineken anticipates performance across all biz units “to worsen in the second quarter” and be “impacted” thruout 2d half of the year. But Lagunitas had been on a tuff track outside of coronavirus impacts as well. Recall, several key leadership members have been replaced recently, including CEO, CMO, VP of sales, as co also went thru sizable rounds of layoffs over last couple yrs. Sales of flagship Lagunitas IPA noticeably picked up off-premise since introduction of 12pk cans, flyin’ nearly +40% in latest pantry-loading periods. But several…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 38
“This is the most difficult thing we’ve had to deal with in our 40-year history,” Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman told CBN late last week. “We’ve had fires, we’ve actually had floods,” but nothing compares to effects of COVID-19. Yet Sierra Nevada has not had one COVID-positive employee. And Sierra Nevada never laid off employees previously and “we haven’t laid anyone off as of now,” said Ken. But Sierra Nevada did “shut down all customer facing parts of our operations” about 1 month ago and “everyone received full paychecks through” Apr 3. Now the approximately 400 folks that work in restaurants, tours and gift shops have 3 options, said Ken. They can either stay on as Sierra employees, deployed in other areas of the co, given as many hours as possible or they could take personal leave for a period, but still get full benefits, or they could “part ways” with Sierra to get enhanced unemployment benefits. “Nearly everyone took option one and two.” Sierra Nevada has about 1100 total employees. Many working in areas like repacking variety packs, additional cleaning, food-to-go, selling vintage beers, etc. Shipments Up Almost 10% in Q1; Not Highly Leveraged; Both Breweries “Full Speed Ahead”…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 34
Large and In Charge: Off-Premise Boom Favors Big Brands, Pack Sizes Across Biz Been hearing it for a while and makes tons of sense from consumer sentiment point of view. When loading up the pantry, folks seek out larger pack sizes (value) and larger brands (familiarity). Across total beer biz, canned 12-pks, 24-pks and 30-pks were top-gaining pack sizes in IRI multi-outlet + convenience data for 1 wk thru 3/22, BW Consulting reported. Every top-15 beer brand up for the wk, just like every top-15 craft brand (as we wrote last issue). Amazingly, 6-pk bottles still down for the wk, -3.3% by $$, per BWC report. That pack dominated by craft, natch. And 6-pk cans nowhere near as hard hit, +39%. So pantry loading perhaps accelerating shift to cans in craft. But popular craft can pack, 4-pk of 16oz cans, not seeing quite the same pop as larger pack sizes. Up just 8.5% for 1 wk. Comments from top craft suppliers track those trends. Craft Brew Alliance, Firestone Walker and New Belgium all reporting shift to large format. In fact, some of CBA large formats flying in Nielsen all outlet off-premise data for week ending 3/21, sr comms director Jenny…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 30
Shifting fates of large US craft players don’t get much more stunning than what’s happened with New Belgium over last couple yrs. Building out a portfolio of IPAs under umbrella Voodoo Ranger brand proved incredibly fruitful for co. Looks like its 5 major IPA brands now over 60% of NBB’s volume in scans, we estimate based on latest IRI and glimpse at Nielsen data co shared with CBN. In time of major shift toward lower-ABV beers across craft and total beer biz, incredibly NBB’s Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA easily leading the pack for the co. Up in realm of 75-80%, over a quarter of NBB’s scan volume on its own. Compare to co’s longtime flagship Fat Tire, down near 10% in IRI MULC for 4 wks to 1/26 and just under a quarter of co’s scan biz. Base Voodoo Ranger up high single digits in Nielsen all outlet + convenience and liquor, NBB shared. Also likely north of 20% of NBB’s volume in scan. Then there’s Rotator Series and Juicy Haze, both launched last yr, each around 6% of NBB’s biz. Tho Rotator almost tripling so far this yr, Juicy Haze down mid-singles. But that’s in part due to recent…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 13
Not the best beginning for a new year in off-premise scan data. Craft volume down 1% with dollars off 0.4% thru 1st 4 wks of 2020 (to 1/25) in Nielsen all outlet + convenience data. Segment lost share of $$ and cases for same reason it did in 2019. In a word, seltzers. FMB segment up by over 50% in Jan, bigger than craft $$ by a full share pt. Only 2 other high-end segments up so far, import $$ +5.5% and superpremium +9%. Notably, total distribution points (TDPs) for craft down about 1% for 4 wks compared to this time last yr. Distribution for FMBs? Up by 25%. Launch of Bud Light Seltzer big, but not really slowing down White Claw or Truly. Welcome to 2020. But peek underneath craft hood and trends not so dour. In fact, with total Blue Moon franchise off 3.6% by $$ and both Shock Top and Leinenkugel shandies off by over 25% each, craft looks a lot brighter without those big brewer brands. Rest of segment $$ grew 0.7%. Still not enough to gain share, but not down either. Both Sierra Nevada and New Belgium carried gains of late 2019 into early 2020.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 11
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