Today’s infographic is an interesting treemap created by the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a collaboration between M.I.T. and Harvard. This one shows the amount of beer imported by the nations of the world, with the size of their relative amount of importing shown by the size of the rectangle.
You probably saw the news over the past year that Walmart was going to be focusing to a greater degree on the sale of beer in their stores. Advertising Age had an interest glimpse into their plans, entitled How Walmart Plans to Double Beer Sales In Three Years . At the recent NBWA annual convention in Las vegas last week, Walmart’s Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, Duncan MacNaughton, said he was “pleased but not satisfied” with their progress so far, adding that he feels Walmart is “still ‘under-shared’ in beer sales compared with competitors.”
Apparently there’s currently an uneasy relationship with Walmart and beer wholesalers, which should surprise no one. Walmart is so big they’re used to getting their way and dictating whatever they want — some might say bullying — even if what they’re asking for is unreasonable or even not entirely on the same terms as everybody else enjoys.
Because they use “just-in-time” ordering systems, “their backrooms have no storage,” David Black, CEO of Northeast Sales Distributing, said in an interview. His company’s territory includes some 50 Walmarts in portions of Georgia and North Carolina. “They refuse the order or they make you sit there for three hours while they take something else.”
That’s something most, if not all, of the big chains do, of course, but Walmart has supposedly raised it to a fine art. Walmart also told the assembled beer distributors that they’re not considering a private label beer, which from their point of view is good news.
Curiously, MacNaughton also said this. “We don’t want cute displays. We want ‘shoppable’ displays: item and price and can I get a case off the top. Sometimes we kid ourselves with pretty. Pretty is fun, but I want sales.”
A couple of months ago, Bloomberg covered this in Wal-Mart Stacking Beer in Aisles to Double Alcohol Sales, detailing more of their overall plans. For example, only about 3,700 of their nearly 11,000 stores currently stock beer, which is roughly one-third. In the short term they’ll be increasing that to around 5,000 stores (45%) and hope to eventually sell beer in as many as 6,600 locations, or 60% of their stores.
The Bloomberg report also included a video in which one of the talking heads mentions that while beer sales are relatively flat overall, it’s craft beer that’s selling well. Apparently they’ve also hired more buyers who will be focusing on more local beers, and “craft is playing into that in a big way,” apparently. But as the video later points out, the biggest customers by far are still the big players, and although the Boston Beer Co. is there, it’s dollar amount is far less than ABI, MolsconCoors or Heineken. Samuel Adams sells less than 4% of the beer that Budweiser does and 3.4% of the other three combined. So while they speculate that craft is the key to increasing sales, it doesn’t seem like that’s what they’re actually doing, though to be fair images of Walmart shelves do show a bit more diversity. I confess I don’t really shop our local Walmart, so I may have to check out the beer section from time to time to see if they really are changing their approach.
For our 80th Session, our host is Derek Harrison, who writes online at It’s Not Just the Alcohol Talking. His topic for this session asks bloggers to weigh in on the question that pundits and business analysts have been asking and answering frequently in recent months, Is Craft Beer a Bubble?
It’s a good time to be in the craft beer industry. The big brewers are watching their market share get chipped away by the purveyors of well-made lagers and ales. Craft breweries are popping up like weeds.
This growth begs the question: is craft beer a bubble? Many in the industry are starting to wonder when, and more importantly how, the growth is going to stop. Is craft beer going to reach equilibrium and stabilize, or is the bubble just going to keep growing until it bursts?
So on Friday, October 4, let us know where you stand on the bursting bubble hypothesis. Is the bubble precarious and ready to pop any second or as solid as a glass ball?
Today’s infographic is a mouthful: Private-Label, Craft Beers See Sales Growth. You probably already know this, by private label beers are beers produced under a generic or unique brand name by a brewery to be sold exclusively at a particular store, or more often chain of stores. The infographic was created by Supermarket News.
Today’s infographic comes from Next Generation Food, an EU website and shows you where you can buy the Top 10 Most Expensive Pints In The World, in British pounds. Topping the list, the United Arab Emirates. Though not part of the chart itself, the cheapest place for a pint is Panama, where 30p will get you a full glass of cerveza.
You probably saw this last week, but just in case, the Brewers Association released the preliminary mid-year numbers on how beer sales are going so far in 2013. It’s probably no surprise to most that the news is good, with double-digit growth once more, a common story these days.
During the first six months of 2013, American craft beer dollar sales and volume were up 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Over the same period last year, dollar sales jumped 14 percent and volume increased 12 percent.
During the first half of 2013, approximately 7.3 million barrels of beer were sold by small and independent craft brewers, up from 6.4 million barrels over the first half of 2012. American craft beer continues to grow despite decreased overall beer sales, which were down two percent through the first six months of the year.
It’s nice to see the steady increases over the last five years.
The number of breweries also continues the meteoric rise of late, with latest count standing at an amazing 2, 538.
There are 2,538 breweries operating in the U.S. as of June 30, 2013, an increase of 446 breweries since June 2012. The BA also lists an additional 1,605 breweries in planning at the year’s midpoint, compared to 1,252 a year ago. As of June 30, 2013, the count of craft breweries was at 2,483, showing that 98 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 108,440 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.
“More breweries are currently operating in the U.S. than at any time since the 1870s.” [Director of the Brewers Association, Paul] Gatza added. “With each new brewery opening, American craft brewers are reinforcing the U.S.’s position as the world’s most diverse brewing nation. It’s a very good time to be an American beer lover.”
Amen to that.
Today’s infographic is a pie chart showing where people buy their beer. The chart was originally used with an AdAge story, Stat of the Day: Where People Buy Their Beer, using statistics from February of last year. By dollars, most people buy their beer at restaurants, but imagine how much more would be sold if more restaurants actually paid better attention to their beer list. Second was bars, followed by convenience stores in third place. By volume, the most beer is sold at convenience stores, followed by supermarkets/grocery stores and “other” in third place. In both measure, concessions comes in last place; I wonder if the often-gouging price has something to do with that?