G H Q
By highlighting the latest products, flavors and trends
retailers can improve the cash flow of their beer aisles.
BY RICHARD TURCSIK
HERE IS SOME “IMPORT”ANT INFORMATION for retailers look- ing to revitalize their beer sales—imported beers, along with craft beers, flavored malt beverages and hard ciders, are the key growth categories in the important category.
“Overall, the beer industry has been relatively flat in the past several years, due in large part to a significant and continued decrease in
domestic beer sales,” says Jennifer Dohm, public relations manager for
Constellation Brands Beer Division, the Chicago-based importer of
Corona, Modelo and other brands. “However, imports, craft, flavored
malt beverages (FMBs) and domestic super premiums—in total known
as the ‘high-end’—have been growing at a steady clip,” she says.
According to Dohm, 100 percent of beer category volume and dollar growth is driven by the high-end, with growth accelerating over the
past five years. “We expect this trend to continue for many years to
come,” she says.
Bump Williams, CEO of The BWC Co., a beverage consulting firm
based in Shelton, Conn., says imports are among the hottest subsets of
the overall beer category right now. “I don’t just mean Mexican imports,
but also Belgian, French and Pan-Asian imports. Retailers are really
focusing on imports now,” he says.
One of the hottest “new” imports is Red Stripe, which was first brewed
in Jamaica according to a recipe developed in 1928, and imported to the
U.S. in 1985. However, under the then ownership of Guinness/Diageo,
production was moved to the U. S. and U.K. in 2012. Now, under controlling interest of Heineken, brewing has been moved back to Jamaica. “It
is part of the company’s broader mission to deliver true import brands
that exemplify the authenticity consumers expect and deserve,” says
Andrew Anguin, senior brand manager, Caribbean Imports, Five Points
Trading Co., a division of Heineken USA, based in White Plains, N. Y.
“Red Stripe, in its iconic stubby bottle, is a unique and truly Jamaican
lager from the heart of the Caribbean and the birthplace of reggae music,”
Anguin says. “Everything about Red Stripe embodies the island’s big
spirit and embraces consumers who live to enjoy good times.”
For the flagship Heineken brand, company officials are initiating new
marketing programs and pack configurations. For example, an 18-bottle
cooler pack with a lining that accommodates the addition of ice will be
launched in June as a grab-and-go solution for summer entertainment.
“Our core marketing message will center around year two of the
brand’s ad campaign ‘More Behind the Star,’ featuring Benecio Del
Toro inviting legal drinking age (LDA) consumers to discover the
authentic product stories that are the foundation of this iconic, global
brand,” says Nuno Teles, chief marketing officer at Heineken USA. The
campaign and its “Soccer is Here” commercial were successful in build-
ing brand awareness and growth in 2016, Teles says. “We will build on
this momentum in 2017.”
Williams sees flavored beers and malt beverages continuing to build
momentum in 2017. “Not just grapefruit and jalapeño, but a whole myr-
iad of flavors are on tap,” he says. “You are going to see a lot more inno-
vation in flavors and retailers will be playing on flavors as well.”
MillerCoors has had great success with its Henry’s Hard Soda line
and continues to expand the franchise.