We Have a Category Problem
FILED OCTOBER 24, 2016
When at the Heineken USA distributor conference in Chicago last week, I was stopped in the lobby of the Oriental Theatre by a very large and influential distributor in the lobby. He said very sternly to me, "You've been writing about beer being flat for years. Wine and particularly spirits are still growing. We have a serious category problem."
Heineken Highlights: More Neil Patrick Harris, Soccer, Strongbow
FILED OCTOBER 21, 2016
Heineken USA gathered its distributors this year in Chicago at the historic Oriental Theatre to present their 2017 plans. For brand Heineken, lager is again "in the green," as SVP Heineken Ralph Rijks puts it, with depletions up 1.1% for the first half and non-promoted volume up 2.8%. "We still have work to do," said Ralph. Look for an increase in their focus on soccer (with the Champions League and MLS), and a new three year deal with the International Champions Cup which will hold games in major US cities next summer (and HUSA has secured 10k tickets).
Inside The High End
FILED OCTOBER 20, 2016
We often cover The High End in spurts: when Anheuser-Busch acquires a new craft brewery, or when talking trade practices. But what about inside the unit's walls?
The Distributor Productivity Issue: It's Starting to Matter Big Time
FILED OCTOBER 19, 2016
Yesterday A-B sent word to distributors of "movements in the sales and marketing teams" and the advent of a new national WOD [Wholly Owned Distributors, or brewery-owned branch] team. In a minute we'll get to more of why we think this is happening.
A-B's Teavana to Hit Three States Early 2017
FILED OCTOBER 18, 2016
Earlier this year we reported that A-B inked a preliminary deal with Starbucks to produce, bottle, and distribute through its wholesaler network a Teavana Ready-to-Drink (RTD) product in the U.S., due out early next year [see BBD 06-02-2016].
ABI: The Greatest CPG Success Story in History
FILED OCTOBER 17, 2016
Last week's article on the rise of MegaBrew was met with eager response on both sides. Some readers were "fascinated" with the connection between zero-based budgeting (ZBB) and total quality management (TQM). Others -- onetime insiders -- offered salacious details we could not have known.
Craft in Crisis?
FILED OCTOBER 14, 2016
For those of you who think we're a bit too alarmist about craft's slowdown, consider that Stone just had to lay off about 5% of its workforce. Stone. Stone!!! They are among the segment's largest employers with more than 1,100 employees.