More Pouch, W&S Ads This Year
Honoring Merchandisers

FILED JULY 4, 2012

Dear Client:

Independence Day retail pricing is in line with much of last year, with a few additions. Again, very cheap beer appears at SoCal Ralphs with premium light and Tecate 30 packs going for $15.88 (must buy two, but one offer per household). That's pretty cheap at four cents an ounce for premium and imported beer.

But two additional observations on grocery ads this year: Platinum is seen in many ads for $10.99 for 12 pack bottles, and malt and wine-based pouches are all over the ads for $1.99. There's also a lot more wine and spirits ads (although not as steep price points as last year). To see the ads we track, click on this link:


As I sit here by the pool drinking beer on this Independence Day holiday with my wife, my oldest son, who is a freshman in college, is working as a merchandiser for a beer distributor this summer, just as so many of us did. Of course, he's working today, like so many others across the country. It's called paying dues. As I've told him many times: the beer business never sleeps, particularly on holidays. But in my conversations with him, there are a few things that he experiences that I didn't as a merchandiser back when. For one, there are so many more SKUs to manage on the shelf. Even taking shelf inventory takes a lot longer now. And the back stock in supermarkets is now more on racks, so you have to be like a monkey to climb up to get at a six pack of some craft beer. In fact, as a craft beer fan, it's nearly made him dislike and resent craft because of the difficulty in getting all those SKUs from rack to shelf. But the thing he most complains about are the pouches: apparently the edges are sharp so his hands are sliced up, and inevitably a pouch breaks in each case so they are incessantly sticky.

But one thing that has not changed: "Dad, the back door women are mean as rattlesnakes."

Merchandising is one of the toughest and most important jobs in the beer industry. On this Independence Day, I raise my beer in honor of all the merchandisers across the country, for the work you do, even on holidays, so the country can have access to such a wide variety of fresh and rotated beer. I salute you, sirs. [Ed. Note: And ma'ams].

PIPING ALL HANDS. After digesting our extensive coverage of the ABI - Modelo deal and the accompanying deal with Constellation, what are your thoughts? Ping me at in confidence.

Next issue on Monday. Have a great Independence Day.

Until then, Harry

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln

Make yourself heard, your opinions count. Anonymous feedback and tipster form:

--------- Sell Day Calendar ----------
Today's Sell Day: 4
Sell days this month: 21
Sell days this month last year: 22
This month ends on a: Tues
This month last year ended on a: Fri
YTD sell days Over/Under: +1


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