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After Difficult First Half, Boston Beer Aiming To Stay Flat In 2016

July 22, 2016

After achieving solid volume growth in both 2014 and 2015, Boston Beer Co. is now striving to stay flat in 2016, following a first half in which the craft brewer’s depletions declined by 5%. Boston Beer’s revenue also fell, by 4% to $433.6 million, in its first half ended June 25.

“Our Samuel Adams brand lost share of craft due to the increased competition and continued growth of drinker interest in trying new styles,” said Boston Beer chairman Kim Koch in a statement. “While the launches of our new beers, including the Samuel Adams Nitro Project and Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA, have been successful and well-received, they have not offset declines in Samuel Adams Boston Lager and our Samuel Adams seasonal beers.”

Meanwhile, Boston Beer CEO Martin Roper said the company’s depletion trends have improved over the past few weeks, and that new packaging and advertising will be launched to support the Sam Adams range in the second half. Boston Beer is also planning to increase investment behind Angry Orchard, which continues to dominate the cider category even though it’s lost ground following several years of explosive growth. Additionally, Jon Potter, who previously headed marketing efforts for Diageo North America and Moet Hennessy USA, is joining the brewer as its CMO next month.

For the full year, Boston Beer is projecting depletions and shipments trends to range from a 4% decline to flat. The craft brewer plans price increases of 1%-2% by year-end. —Peter Zwiebach

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