US Nielsen beer tracker – Solid growth in November

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Source: Morgan Stanley

Olivier Nicolai, Richard Felton

December 13, 2016

According to Nielsen data, US beer volume grew by +2.4% y/y over the 4 weeks to 3 December. Lapping a tough comp of +3.2%, price/mix was limited to +0.7% y/y. ABI outperforms MillerCoors, albeit both lost share.

US beer sales grew by +3.1% in 4 weeks to 3 December

Lapping a +1.6% comp, volume for the 4 weeks to 3 December grew by +2.4% y/y, an acceleration compared to the latest 12- and 52-week trends of +1.1% and +0.7% respectively. Off a tough comp, price/mix growth of +0.7% was below 12- and 52-week trends. Nielsen beer data cover around 66% of the off-trade channel, with the off-trade channel accounting for 74% of the total market.

ABInBev – Some share loss, due to Bud and Natural Light

According to Nielsen data, ABInBev volume in the 4 weeks to 3 December grew by +1.1% (lapping a +0.2% comp). This is below the market but well above MillerCoors. Price/mix of +0.4% was soft compared to previous trends but below the market average. Positive mix was driven by strong growth in premium Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra and Goose Island, which all grew volume by high-single/double digits. In mainstream, both Budweiser and Bud Light saw an improvement in the latest 4 weeks vs the most recent 12 and 52 week trends, declining in volume terms by -1.7% and -1.2% respectively. In value terms, Bud Light was flat y/y over latest 4 weeks vs. -1.1% on a 52 week trends.

MillerCoors – Lost volume and value market share

MillerCoors volume in 4 weeks to 3 December was flat y/y, an improvement vs trends over the last 12 and 52 weeks but still below the market rate. Price/mix growth of +0.2% y/y was in line with the 52-week trend. Miller Lite volume was flat and Coors Light volume grew by +2.6% y/y which is an improvement from previous trends. Below mainstream, Keystone Light declined by -5.0%. Within craft, Blue Moon volume declined by -1.3% y/y.

Heineken outperformed the market; Constellation remains the winner

Heineken’s volume growth of +2.3% y/y was in line with the market. Price/mix of +1.7%, was driven entirely by price as mix remains negative. Growth in Tecate Light was +22% versus +27% over the last 52 weeks. The Heineken brand grew volume by +4.0% in the latest 4 weeks (compared to flat over the latest 52 weeks). Constellation gained share with volume +18.3% (and last 12 weeks +16.9%).