In last year’s blog about Jim, May 27, 2014, we highlighted not only the outstanding numbers Boston Beers was putting up, but also looked at some of the new products that were about to, or just had been rolled out by Boston.
In addition to the great success of Angry Orchard, by far the dominate cider in the market place, and the rapid growth of the Twisted Tea brands, Rebel IPA was a major success. Now in 2015, Boston Beers’ focus is to establish the new Traveler brands. While it is too early to determine the level of success, Traveler products might be more of a summer seasonal based on their liquid.
Unlike ABI, Boston’s new products are not line extensions. Boston allows these new products to stand on their own reputation. The consumer sees the lines as something new, different and unusual. To date, this marketing has worked. In fact, it is transforming the company.
IRI Total US food thru April 19, show that Sam Boston Lager is down -3.3% in volume and Sam variety is down -13.2%. As a company, however, Boston was up +13.6% during this time period. These numbers further indicate the ongoing change in Boston’s portfolio mix.
Angry Orchard and Twisted Tee have become a large segment of Boston’s volume. Core flavors are losing ground, but with Rebel IPA, the future looks solid for Boston in crafts’ hottest segment. As mentioned, the jury is still out on The Travelers products. Time will tell.
In a recent media interview, Jim stated that while Boston only has a one percent share of the US beer market, crafts will continue to grow. He goes on the say that consumers have discovered flavored beers and are looking for more of them. We see this in the numbers and he is right.
Jim always seems to understand what it takes for a liquid to be successful. He was one of the fore runners of crafts with Boston Lager at a time when no one had an understanding of crafts. Over the years he created craft flavors and most have been successful.
As with crafts, Jim took new liquids and made them successful when no one else did. He began with teas, and followed years later with ciders, which had been successful in England and other parts of Europe. AO now dominates this fast growing segment. This year Boston has come with shanties.
Although not new to the US market, look for Boston to jump start this category and become a major brand. It is what Jim does best.
You can bet Jim has other ideas and brands to draw on in the future, so I am looking forward to seeing just what he will introduce next year. One thing for sure, it will be different.
Until next year, Happy 66th Jim!