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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Sucks to Be Macro

"I've never seen so much red ink on a spreadsheet in all my years in this business. It's really disconcerting."
~Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of Beer Business Daily

This is a stat no one in the macro trade can regard without a measure of palsy: only four of the top 30 tin can beers saw sales rise in the most recent month. The big three, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite all tanked.
Industry shipments are down 4%, according to the Beer Institute. Several factors play into the trend, key among them the recession. MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England said that unemployment remains particularly pronounced among the 21- to 35-year-old men who are the primary targets of beer companies, and also among Hispanics, another key segment. In many cases, they're opting for cheaper brews, or saving their consumption for a special occasion by splurging on craft-style beers. As a result, the "premium" lights are being squeezed by moves in both directions.
A few facts about which I was unaware:
  • Bud Light accounts fro 40% of A-B shipments, and was down 5.3% for the year;
  • Coors Light and Miller Lite account for half of MillerCoors' business, and while Coors Light is just flatlining, Miller Lite is down 7.5%;
  • Bud Light Golden Wheat is a bust.
Of course, the bigs aren't taking this lying down. No sir, they've got big plans. Take, for instance, Miller's counter-offensive:

How can Oregon's brewers possibly compete with that level of brewing innovation?


  1. I saw that Vortex commercial and laughed in disgust. I thought, 'Who would be stupid enough to say to themselves..."I gotta buy me a Vortex Miller Light!?" Do ya think the putz who came up with this idea will get a raise or will he be running next years NW Organic Ale fest?

  2. That is the stupidest thing I've seen in quite some time.

  3. Doc, he'll probably be so embittered he'll adopt a pseudonym and start an angry beer blog.


  4. ...or just keep promoting senseless crap based on hype and the stupidity of others? :-}

  5. lmao.... since it's been years since they have and can advertise to kids... who are they going to advertise to next? They are not in the beer business... they are in the business of marketing. Soon they may actually wake up to the fact that many people (not all) are not so stupid anymore.

    It's always a fantastic thing to support your local small business. That's what the 'free' market is all about.

    Anything that pushes out, and makes fun of... a brainwashing market of sheep herding... is ok by me!

    BMC needs to start thinking about downsizing before it's too late... otherwise I am sure they will just get bailed out by a stupid government and people whom supported it.

  6. Really, the title of your post says it all.

  7. I noticed
    - the rifling complies with the generally dominate right hand thumb rule
    - if the beer were a electro-magnetic wave it would be designated Right Hand Circularly Polarized

    See my 40 years of communication science / engineering is still useful.

  8. I saw a billboard for this "Vortex Bottle" and thought in disgust, if they spent have of the resources they spend on "innovations" like color-coded cans and bottlenecks on actually making good beer, they might see a shift in their numbers.

    No, they can only make test batches of Shocktop or American Ale which fail because no one knows what it is and deem the whole endeavor fruitless.

    Anyone ever try AB's Bare Knuckle Stout? I though it was pretty tasty and comparable to Guinness (if you like Guinness) but they abandoned that too.

  9. Dang! They beat us too it. Our R&D team has been working months on this type of bottle. (we went to that after Coors stole the blue mountain label idea). Course we could do vortex cans.....Pack it in pack it out. smell that aroma.