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Heineken big in ‘friend me’ land, but craft kicking imports’ butts

Two tidbits from today’s Shanken News Daily:

* Heineken has announced a global marketing partnership with Facebook to create digital campaigns for the company’s brands around the world. The agreement will help Heineken reach over 800 million Facebook users. Heineken says its Facebook fan page is the largest for any beer brand, with over 4.6 million adult users.

* The U.S. beer market continues to struggle, according to the latest numbers from Nielsen. Off-premise volumes declined 1.9% in the most recent 52-week period (ending November 12) to 1.38 billion cases. The outlook appeared brighter on a value basis, as dollar sales inched up 0.6% to $28.6 billion during the same time period. The average price of beer in the off-premise increased 2.4% to $19.82 a case.

Craft and specialty brews continue to be the most vibrant segment in the beer category, surging 16.6% by volume in the 52-week period, with even stronger value growth (+17.8%) on an average price of $31.80 a case. The craft/microbrew segment is priced higher, on average, than imported brands ($27.59), yet imports fell 0.6% by volume during the same time span. Mexico continues to be the largest-selling origin for imported brews off-premise, at 78.7 million cases (+0.4%), but the fastest-growing source was Belgium (+28.9%).

3 Responses to Heineken big in ‘friend me’ land, but craft kicking imports’ butts

  1. Mike December 9, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    What is the difference between “craft”, specialty and microbrew? It seems the three are used almost interchangeably.

    According to the Brewer’s Almanac (2011), the import share of the US market went from 3 to 13 percent between 1980 and 2010. During that same period, “craft” went from zero (I assume) to about 4 percent.

    I don’t know. I don’t think “kicking butt” quite fits the actual record.

  2. Craig H December 9, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Corona & Heineken are such a huge percentage of the US import category that their sales *are* the category, essentially. Craft beers from European breweries appear to be doing very well in the US – that +28.9% from Belgium is not just Stella. (I work for an importer of fine beer.)

  3. Steve December 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I know it’s your favorite source Mike, but I had to bring more stats to the table:

    Boulder, CO • August 8, 2011 – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers. Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of 2011, excluding brewers who left the craft segment in 2010*. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 14 percent for the first six months in 2011, compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of 2010.

    And yeah, craft and microbrew can probably be lumped synonymously, but “specialty” probably refers more to contract brewing, though some of that is done by micro brewers.

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