The beer market is depressed and they are counting on your depression to help save them. Usually when the economy is down…beer consumption is up. Sadly though, hops prices are driving margins down and beer drinkers are discovering smaller brands and drinking more imports . All of this is hurting the traditional core brands. Anheuser’s shares are down 9.9% in 2008. Goldman Sach’s is concerned! They said “we remain concerned about U.S. beer business margin outlook due to escalating commodity costs and the need to drive core brand volumes.”
Our domestic core brands should be worried. While shipments of imported U.S. beers have fallen, sales by volume is still up for Heineken Premium Light. Their volume rose 15.5% through March 23 from the same period last year according to (IRI). Yet, this growth is slower than last year and the company is counting on marketing to help increase growth. Now get this…, according to The Wall Street Journal they are counting on depressed drinkers to be alturistic. Are they serious? Seems they are. They are launching an ad campaing asking folks to “Be a Beer Samaritan.” That’s right. They think that since the economy is depressed giving beer away will lift your “spirits.” I gotta see this to believe it. If I am short on money I certainly am not going to give away my beer. No sir. These ads are not meant to be funny. They are even going to distribute coasters that say “Adopt a Stranger.” “Share the Good.” I hope they don’t mean the guy on the street corner. Do you think you can use the coaster as a receipt to write off the donation on your taxes?
Let’s keep our eye on the beer market. This should prove to be interesting.