Craft Wins Key July Scan Period

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I was in Alfalfa’s beer store with my friend Benj Steinman last week. Benj asked “What’s selling?” The proprietor said “Whatever’s on sale.” Alfalfa’s has a wine/beer/liquor store rare in that it doesn’t carry any of the major domestic lagers except a couple of the large brewer specialties. The beer is craft or imported. In the latest SIG scan data it appears that pricing growth in craft is small compared to a year ago. Average price per case is $31.66 in the latest four weeks compared to $31.52 a year ago. All beer case prices have risen 42 cents per case in that time.

Craft Pricing

4 Weeks to July 10, 2011–up 14 cents per case.

Year to Date 2011–up 33 cents per case

52 Weeks (May 2010-May 2011)–up 40 cents per case.

Here’s a rundown of some of the other craft figures from the SIG report for food/drug and convenience stores.

4 Weeks to July 10, 2011–16.5% volume growth; 17.1% dollar growth. (All beer +0.8/+2.9)

Year to Date 2011–13.8% volume growth; 15.0% dollar growth. (All beer -1.1/+1.4)

52 Weeks (May 2010-May 2011)–13.2% volume growth; 14.7% dollar growth. (All beer -1.3/+1.2)

Craft gained 0.4 share points over the scan period by volume and 0.6 share points of dollars. Imports also gained 0.4 share points of volume but only 0.3 share points of dollars. Domestic superpremium picked up 0.2 share points of both. The share was taken from domestic premium and domestic subpremium. One oddity in the data is that beer sales were up for the Budweiser brand. That brand had been shedding volume and share for years. Is it a temporary anomaly?

Beer styles gaining share of cases of the craft segment in the four-week scan period were IPA, variety packs, pale lagers, browns, Belgians, other specialties, stouts, Scottish and the mysterious “craft unknown.”

Paul Gatza

July 28, 2011