A-B’s C-Store Struggles Continue

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Brew Blog

Coors cruises.

Anheuser-Busch is nearing its second anniversary of failing to gain share in convenience stores, according to beer market analysis by Nielsen.

A-B lost 0.5 points of share during the four week period ended April 19 in a channel it dominates, according to beer sales statistics from Nielsen. It’s now failed to record a share gain in 23 straight months. Its last share increase occurred in September 2006.

The culprit: The Bud franchise. A-B’s flagship brand family lost 0.8 points of share. Budweiser lost a full point of share, Bud Light lost 0.3 points — its worst showing in more than two years — and Bud Select lost 0.1 points.

This bleeding more than offset growth by the Busch (up 0.2 points) and Natural Light (up 0.1 points) franchises during the period. Aggressive pricing appears to be a factor driving Busch: its national weighted average case price was up a mere 0.1 percent.

Given that current promotional tactics aren’t stemming the decline — the 0.7 point decline in dollar share, greater than the volume share decline, suggests aggressive pricing — what’s next?

The likely answer: Bud Light Lime. The line extension provides an opportunity for the Bud franchise to stabilize itself with increased merchandising and focus in-store. (A-B took out a back cover ad for Bud Light Lime in the May 5 issue of Convenience Store News). Whether that will work remains to be seen of course.

Meanwhile, Miller Brewing Company lost 0.2 points of volume share and 0.1 points of dollar share during the period.

Coors Brewing Company gained 0.6 points of volume and dollar share, with growth coming primarily from Coors Light and Keystone. Expanded distribution continues to be a major factor in the growth of Coors Light.

 

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