Samuel Adams Slumps In First Quarter, But Angry Orchard Leads Boston Beer To Solid GrowthApril 30, 2015
Craft beer continues to expand rapidly in the U.S. market, but category pioneer Samuel Adams is losing ground. The craft brand’s depletions fell slightly in the first quarter of 2015, according to its owner, Boston Beer Company.
Despite the struggles of its flagship brand, Boston Beer posted 8.5% revenue growth in the first quarter (ended March 28) as depletions advanced by 8%, driven by Angry Orchard cider, which continues to play an increasingly important role for the craft brewer. According to Impact Databank estimates, Angry Orchard and portfoliomate Twisted Tea—which also grew in the first quarter—accounted for just over 40% of Boston Beer’s total volume in 2014, up from less than 33% the previous year. The brewer says Traveler, its fruit-infused beer range, is also enjoying impressive growth as it rolls out nationally.
Still, Angry Orchard’s exponential growth has slowed amid increased competition in the cider segment. In 2014, Angry Orchard was up by 81% to 14.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases, according to Impact Databank, and up by 83% in IRI channels. However, in the first quarter, the cider brand’s growth had fallen to 37%. Relative newcomers like Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Johnny Appleseed and MillerCoors’s Smith & Forge are stealing share from Angry Orchard, a trend that shows no sign of slowing as the brewing giants continue to invest heavily in their cider brands’ marketing efforts.
Looking ahead, Boston Beer maintained its projection of full-year depletions growth of 8%-12%.
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Tagged : Angry Orchard, beer, Boston Beer, Boston Beer Company, cider, Sam Adams, Samuel Adams
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