Beer Industry Looks to Rebuild ‘Brand Beer’

The Professor posts this because everything but the last paragraph indicate how clueless big beer execs, and especially the writer, seem to be. They should have led with that last paragraph and done more analysis. Anyone dare to think they’re simply not quenching more educated palates these days?- The Professor

Distributors Seek Solutions in Vegas Amid Slumping Sales Trends, Aggressive Competition From Spirits

Stuck in a multi-year slump that shows no sign of lifting, beer industry leaders have blamed everything from the economy and weather to anti-smoking laws in bars. But one top executive is bluntly suggesting that industry itself is the problem for failing to out-market the spirits category.

MillerCoors CEO Tom Long
“The days of beer guys knocking each other around and not worrying too much about spirits and wine is over, and it’s frankly been over for a long time,” MillerCoors CEO Tom Long said in a forceful speech to hundreds of beer distributors gathered this week in Las Vegas for a meeting of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. “And if we’re going to thrive long term, then we’re going to have to look at those competitors and as an industry take on the challenge of brand beer. Make no mistake: our success over the next five years depends on that.”

The last three years have been brutal. In the 52 weeks ending in late August, the number of beer cases sold in stores was down 1.5% from the year earlier, according to Nielsen, while spirit volume sales were up 3.2% in the year ending in mid-September. By year’s end, experts are forecasting beer volume to be down some 2%. That would mark the third year in a row of a decline, which hasn’t happened in 50 years, Beer Marketers Insights President Benj Steinman noted in a presentation to distributors, who met at Caesars Palace for their annual convention and trade show. “If we have yet another year of 2% decline, it will be a lost decade,” he said. “We’ll be back to where we were 10 years ago.”
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