Beverage Wholesaler - September 25, 2017 To view this email as a web page, click here.
Cheers Weekly
Announcing the 2017 Beer Growth Brands Winners

It’s no secret that the overall beer industry has been lagging, as the macro brands continue to lose ground and the craft sector feels the pain of oversaturation and increasing competition. New brands, styles and expressions are crowding the market, making growth difficult in the beer business.
The beer stars in recent years have been Mexican brews, retro American brands and flavored malt beverages (FMBs) and craft, namely anything IPA. Several of those trends still hold according to our 2017 Beer Growth Brand winners.
Some of the leading FMB brands have stumbled, though, and after growing steadily the past few years, cider consumption has slipped. The fledgling hard soda category is still strong, but hard seltzer has been stealing the spotlight in the past year.

Rising Stars
The hard soda trend may have started rolling with spiked root beer a few years ago, but orange was the big flavor in 2016. MillerCoors-owned Henry’s Hard Soda came out in late 2015 with orange and ginger ale flavors. The orange expression has leaped over the ginger ale, with more than 3 million 2.25-gallon cases sold in 2016, while Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale exceeded 1 million cases in its first full year.
Rising Stars must be less than five full years of age, with growth each year of the brand’s lifetime. Domestic and imported beers must have exceeded 100,000 2.25-gallon cases sold in 2016; craft beers, FMBs, ciders, sodas and seltzers must have exceeded 50,000 2.25-gallon cases.
Further tapping into consumer-nostalgic flavors, MillerCoors has extended the line with Henry’s Hard Cherry Cola, which came out in August 2016, and Henry’s Hard Grape soda, launched this past January.
A-B InBev’s Best Damn Root Beer, which hit the market in 2015, exceeded 2 million cases in 2016; its Hard Cherry expression sold more than 1 million cases. The brewer introduced Best Damn Cream Soda this past March, and in a limited release in the Northwest and Midwest, Best Damn Sweet Tea.
After several years of serious growth, cider slid back in 2016. Overall consumption was down about 4% from 2015, according to the Beverage Information & Insights Group, which compiles the data used to determine the Growth Brands winners. In fact, the only cider brand on the Rising Stars list is ABInBev’s Stella Artois Cidre, which increased 17% to 1.2 million cases. The company pulled the plug on its Michelob Ultra Light Cider brand this past spring.
The FMB category seems to be suffering from flavor fatigue, as a number of brands have come to rely on new flavors to grow and haven’t been as successful. The Lime-a-Ritas franchise, which recently dropped the Bud Light from the Lime-A-Ritas name, is one feeling the competition from newcomers in the FMB category.
single vineyard
Heaven Hill’s Multi-Generation History
Denny Potter was recently named VP of Operations at Heaven Hill Brands, in addition to being the company's Master Distiller. He has two decades of experience, working on Cruzan, Jim Beam and Maker's Mark prior to joining Heaven Hill in 2013. I recently spoke to him about the History of Heaven Hill, which is the largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer in the U.S. and holds the world's second-largest stockpile of Kentucky Bourbon.

Heaven Hill came from an operation purchased by five brothers who were business owners as Prohibition ended, running consignment shops and supply stores at the time. The company was passed down to the second generation, Max and Harry Shapira. Max is still President and CEO, and Harry was VP until he passed away. The third generation is now in place, with Max's son Andy heading up sales and strategy, daughter Kate handling marketing, and Kate's husband Allan Latts as COO.
Beverage Wholesaler: How important is family to Heaven Hill, and how interwoven is that philosophy within the company?
Denny Potter: It's basically one in the same. The company has been around for 81 years because we're family-owned and operated, and the family is committed to growing this company and preserving these American whiskey styles. That's set a tone for the culture, that as we grow we maintain that family atmosphere. It's a beautiful thing when you don't have to answer to the New York Stock Exchange. Ideas that make good common sense are acted on very quickly.

Beverage Dynamics magazine is currently collecting submissions for its annual Holiday Merchandising Guide, which contains special value-added packaging, limited releases and updated bottle designs for the holiday season. To submit your brand for consideration, email Managing Editor Kyle Swartz at by October 6.

Business Analyst – National Accounts
Wholesaler: Breakthru Beverage
Location: Miramar, FL
Requirements: Financial, marketing or business analysis experience; consumer packaged goods or data provider background a plus.

This email was sent to you on behalf of Beverage Wholesaler
EPG Media & Specialty Information, 10405 6th Avenue N, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55441
Copyright 2017 by EPG Media & Specialty Information
For more news and information visit
or our Subscription Center

opt out