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Home D Market Insight - Delivering Home D Beverage Market News, Insights and Trends

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Brewers May be Following the Wrong Line to Clear the Tap

August 10, 2009 - Taking a hard look at the effects the economy has had on its business, the beer industry has concluded that sub-premium beers like A-B's Natural Light, Busch, and Busch Light are the new movers. Miller High Life is thought to be stiff competition to these brands and even has a new advertising campaign. And A-B's Natural Light brand is getting its own national TV advertising campaign for the first time in 25 years.

We say - "whoa - let's put the brakes on!" Once again, the NY Home D Retail market has spotted a different wave on the horizon. If we had only looked at first quarter results, we would agree that the brewers are onto something. However, second quarter results show the tide is indeed changing, but in a different direction. In the NY Home D Retail market, Natural Light, Busch and Busch Light have each lost case share for the 13 week period ending June 30. These brands have no need to fear Miller High Life as it too has seen significant case share losses.

So who is making the upward move? It's a not so new upstart that seems to have found its market...Yuengling. Its case share increase has been consistent and substantial all year. It appears that the economic downturn has been a blessing to Yuengling, appealing to those beer drinkers who are looking to spend less but not sacrifice quality. And who takes the blue ribbon for the 13 and 26 week periods ending June 30? Well, that would be Bud Light. Despite a national sales decrease of some 3%, Bud Light has had the largest case share change, even with the poorly received drinkability campaign.

We dare say a change is coming, but feel the brewers are looking in the wrong direction. This is not the first time the NY Home D Retail market data predicted a trend that swept nationally and it won't be the last. The question is, are you paying attention?


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Last updated:  March 11, 2014