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Cheers Weekly
Craft Beer Showed Signs of Slowdown in 2016

Is craft beer slowing down?
Technically the category remained in growth mode in 2016, expanding 6% to 295.723 million 2.25-gallon cases, according to the forthcoming 2017 Beer Handbook from the Beverage Information Group. That makes craft the third largest beer category, behind only light and premium/super premium. The craft category also surpassed a 10% market share for the first time ever, reaching 10.4%, which was up from 9.8% in 2015
That’s all good news. The bad? Those numbers represent slowed growth. The category was up 8.5% in 2015. The year before that it was around 13%. The craft explosion is gradually losing steam.
Why? Probably because consumers these days (especially fickle Millennials) have increasingly diverse tastes. People like to experiment broadly and disloyally across brands and categories. A drinker who enjoys craft beer one day may want a whiskey the next, and then a wine later in the week. As category crossover becomes common, even a red-hot commodity like craft beer will see sales slip
Just don’t tell that to the category’s investors and producers. The number of regional breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs in America eclipsed 5,000 for the first time ever last year, topping off at 5,234. There were as few as 1,986 as recently as 2011.
The current craft beer craze began to gain steam around 2010, when the country added 163 breweries. Afterwards, moving forward year-by-year, the annual new openings totaled 314, 462, 532, 881, 844, and 825 last year.
Many people understandably want in on this growing industry. But how long will the market remain so robust?

Big Brands Grow, Shrink
Last year was a mixed bag for the bigger craft brands.
Ironically, many of those that helped jumpstart the category a decade ago have since suffered for their success. As more microbreweries open and consumers turn towards whatever’s newest and most local, the large and longstanding brands have lost customers.
single vineyard
Why Patrón Jumped Into Augmented Reality — and What’s Next
Patrón Tequila launched an augmented reality (AR) tour of its Jalisco distillery last week. The company has long prided itself on embracing technology: Patrón was among the first spirit brands with virtual reality and Amazon Alexa marketing campaigns.

I recently spoke with Adrian Parker, Patrón’s VP of marketing, about the strategy behind their AR campaign, and what the future holds for high-tech marketing in the spirits industry.
Beverage Wholesaler: Why did Patrón jump into AR?
Adrian Parker: Augmented reality has been around for over a decade, but now it’s ready for mass cosumption. With the release of the new Apple iOS 11, augmented reality became a native feature on their operating system. In the past you had to download an AR app, and then find the brand experience, etcetera, so that you were finding a door to a door to a door. Now, with Apple’s immense consumer reach, AR is easily available on a mass scale. It’s ready for prime time.
BW: Who is the demo for AR marketing?
AP: From Patrón’s perspective, we know that people who drink ultra-premium spirits are often more tech-savvy, and more connected socially. There’s a natural overlap there. And these people also like to know more about the things they eat and drink. They’re younger, tech-savvy, and higher-income. But it’s also about that mindset: wanting to learn more about the products they consume. AR is a way to achieve all of that.

Boston Beer’s stock recently rose after rumors of a takeover
by Molson Coors. Jim Koch has maintained he prefers
to keep the company independent,
rather than sell to a larger competitor.

National Accounts Executive
Wholesaler: Young’s Market Company
Location: Tustin, CA
Requirements: BA and 4 years experience in national sales role in a mult-tiered distribution channel organization.


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