One hundred and ten year old Miller High Life is down 21.2%. Miller Lite is down 22.6%, however, the numbers show that this brand is in the turnaround stage with nice gains in 2014. Do not look for Miller Lite on the list next year. Budweiser is down 27.6% with much talk about their SuperBowl ad and how this might have some effect on trends for the brand. Milwaukee’s Best Light is down 42.6%, and Milwaukee’s Best is down 57% with pricing and the economy the primary reasons in both cases. Miller Genuine Draft is down 58.3%. And number one on the list of falling brews, a beer with no brand support, Budweiser Select, down 66%.
Note all seven of these beers belong to either MillerCoors or ABI, but what is astonishing is when their combined volumes are added, these brands are still selling just fewer than 40 million bbls.
Looking at the fastest growing brands during the same time period. Michelob Ultra is up 21.5%, bucking the light beer and low carb trends. Bud Ice, a high ABV product, is up 26.9%. Yuengling Lager, despite being distributed in only a small number of states, is up 34.2%. Pabst, the anti-establishment beer, is up 71.5% and should continue to rise with additional support from the new owners. Blue Moon, up 88.4%, is no surprise to anyone. And finally Stella Artois is up 95.4%.
The two top beers with the most increase are both Mexican imports. Modelo Especial is up 106.9%, and in the top spot, Dos Equis is up 116.6%. In this fastest growing category there are three imports, two crafts, one popular beer and two owned by AB.
These fast growing beers sell at just short of 20 million bbls. this is half of those in the “no longer drink” category, all of which are part of AB or MC.
It is interesting to note in the losing brand category, all of the beers are either premiums or popular priced, however on the fastest growing list, the beers are all high end priced with the exception of Pabst. This supports the IRI and scan data assumptions that the high end product the place to be.
The support for these most rapidly growing brands from their breweries and wholesalers adds to their success. Higher margins, focused sales and marketing teams, coupled with the distributor X factor are driving increases. Just the opposite is true for the seven dying brands.
Given recent trends, next year’s “no longer drinking” list will probably be very similar to the current year, with one or two changes. What will spark interest is watching the fastest growing list. When does Angry Orchard or Laganitas make it? Either way for both winners and losers, time is surely timeless!