Benchmarking Founders 2018 Gains

Dear Client:

Founders made a lot of strides in 2018, having moved up in rank among top craft producers in the IRI universe. They sold about 563,702 barrels, up 21%.

Their overall depletions (per internal data, repping total volume) grew 23%, and gross margin grew 25%.

And so, they made “rank” strides in several areas.

Most notably, they moved up from the ninth largest brewer in 2017, to the eighth largest brewer in 2018. (All benchmarks reference IRI total US multi-outlet and convenience, the 52 weeks ending 12/30, unless otherwise noted.)

The company saw $26 million in growth last year (again in IRI), placing it fifth among all beer vendors for dollar growth.

The boost can be traced to gains across “two critical measures: velocity (+3.1%) and distribution (+8.97 points),” per Founders benchmarks.

Still, “at 40% CWD FBC still has significant white space available,” the company shared with CBD.

ALL DAY, SOLID GOLD GAINS. Much of this growth is on the back of All Day, their session IPA, which grew 18% last year.

“It is now the 8th largest craft brand and ranks 2nd in dollar sales growth” in IRI, per Founders.

But that’s not the brewery’s only “easy drinking” growth engine.

Solid Gold, their 4.4% golden ale for the “craft curious,” is posting gains as well. It did 52,000 barrels in its first year, making it the 5th bestselling new craft brand in 2018, with $5.7 million in sales. (It’s somewhat below craft pricing too, at $7.99/6-pack SRP.) It’s Founders’ no. 4 brand in scandata.

SOME BENCHMARKS: The brewer provided some interesting color and comparisons to further benchmark their success in scandata.

Where Founders added $26 million in 2018, from their 2017 trends, total sales for the top 20 craft breweries were down $13 million last year.

FBC also had the second-fastest growth rate among those top 20 breweries (behind Elysian) last year. That’s among a landscape where nine of the top 20 were down.

All Day is now the 8th largest brand in this IRI universe, ranked by sales. It finished 2017 at no. 11, and actually passed both Boston Lager and Fat Tire last year.

As for other brand benchmarks: only two of Founders top 10 brands didn’t grow last year; they were seasonal and Dirty Bastard.

Finally, though some are feeling the squeeze in this very tough environment for beer, Founders hired 200 employees in 2018.

“We’re fortunate to have a great team with deep systems in place to help us navigate this ever increasing complex industry,” said co-founder Mike Stevens.

FOR 2019: They continue to see strong depletions trends, up 21.5% through 2/22. “This hints towards a potential strong year as typical for us is slower growth Q1 prior to spring set load in,” per brewer.

All Day is still up 18% YTD. And they plan for volume and depletions growth around 22%.

Until Monday,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry

“May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.” — George Carlin

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