FILED OCTOBER 24, 2016When 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."
FILED OCTOBER 21, 2016Heineken 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).