Price Plays in Craft; A Snapshot

Dear Client:

One of our favorite things to look at when a fresh set of IRI data hits our inbox is price. Who’s hiking it, and who’s dropping it low?

In this latest set of IRI data, which stretches to February 24, we have brewers doing a little bit of both. [Of course, price drops aren’t totally about producers slashing prices, a decrease may have to with mix, retailers, etc.]

We found four brands in IRI’s “Top 30 Craft Brands” that have increased price by a dollar or more versus a year ago, and three in the “Top 30” that have dropped price by a dollar (all in the multi-outlet and convenience channel).

Let’s look at the trio that have dropped price first and see what type of effect it’s had on the brand’s trends.

First up, Goose IPA. The brand’s average price per case ($32.68) is now $2.66 cheaper than it was a year ago. That’s the largest drop in price of any of the “Top 30 Craft Brands.” When you have a drop as significant as this, you can kind of expect the brand’s dollar and volume trends to be all out of whack, and that’s exactly what we have here. Goose IPA’s dollar trends are down 3.2% YTD (no surprise given the decrease in price), but its volume trends are up nearly 5% YTD. Obviously, dropping price help can drive volume.

It’s a similar story with Lagunitas’ Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’. The brand’s dollar trends are just about flat for the year, up 0.2%, but its volume trends are up 4.3% YTD. How? Price explains a lot of that. The brand’s average price per case ($39.54) is $1.59 lower than it was a year ago.

And then there’s Cigar City’s Jai Alai, whose average price per case is down about two bucks ($1.94) versus a year ago. But note that, at $43.01, Jai Alai still holds one of the highest price per cases in the Top 30. In fact, there are only three brands in the Top 30 that carry a higher price per case (Elysian Space Dust, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, and Bell’s Hopslam). So what has the drop done to Jai Alai’s trends? Well, just like Goose IPA and Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, Jai Alai’s volume trends, up 86% YTD, are outpacing its dollar trends, up 78%.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the brands that have upped their price. What do you think happens to the trends here? Just the opposite, right? Correct.

Take Kona Big Wave, for example. The brand’s current average price per case ($35.65) is $2.50 higher than it was a year ago. That’s the biggest increase in price seen in the Top 30. This increase hasn’t done much for the brand’s volume, down 3.4% YTD, but its dollars are up nearly mid-single digits, up 4%.

Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing is another brand whose dollar trends, up 207.4%, are well ahead of its volume trends, up 193.4%. That makes sense when you see the brand’s average price per case ($39.31) is $1.79 higher than it was a year ago.

We see the same thing playing out with New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA and Blue Moon Mango Wheat as well, but to a lesser extent as their price increases aren’t as significant, up $1.36 and $1.22, respectively.

Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA dollars are up 33%, while volume is up 28.6%. And Blue Moon Mango Wheat’s dollars are up 34.3%, while volume is up 30%.


NEW BELGIUM GOING NATIONAL WITH MURAL. We hinted at a national release of New Belgium’s Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza late last month [see CBD 02-27-2019]. Now, it’s official. The pink, 110-calorie take on aguas frescas, brewed in collaboration with Mexico City’s Primus Microcerveceria, is now available in 12 oz. cans and on draft across the country. In addition to its low-calorie count, Mural, which clocks in at 4% ABV, “is crafted with premium ingredients, using no artificial flavors or sweeteners,” and contains “less than 1 gram of sugar per serving,” per company release. Also, look out spiked seltzers… the release notes that Mural, “brewed with watermelon juice, hibiscus, agave and whole lime puree,” packs a “more flavorful sip” than what you find in the sizzling seltzer segment.

Until Monday,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”

– Eric Hoffer

———- Sell Day Calendar ———-

Today’s Sell Day: 6

Sell days this month: 21

Sell days this month last year: 21

This month ends on a: Fri.

This month last year ended on a: Fri.

YTD sell days Over/Under:  +1