Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

•Anheuser-Busch InBev saw its sales decline 5.8% to $11 billion in the first quarter on a volume decrease of 9.3% to 120 million hectoliters. Normalized EBITDA was down 13.7% to $3.9 billion. The U.S. eked out a 1.9% sales gain and EBITDA growth of 2.7%, as consumers stocked up in the off-premise toward the end of the quarter. Still, the company expects a deeper impact from Covid-19 in its second quarter, noting, “This has already become evident in our April 2020 global volumes, which declined by approximately 32%, primarily driven by the closure of the on-premise channel in most markets and government restrictions imposed on certain operations of ours in connection with the pandemic.” Mexico and South Africa are among the markets where brewing operations have been restricted during the health crisis.

•The U.S. Bartenders Guild’s Emergency Assistance program has now distributed $2 million in charitable grants to eligible bartenders out of work due to the on-premise shutdown. As of May 6, more than 4,000 donors had committed a total of $8 million to the effort, in which a vast array of drinks suppliers and distributors have taken part. Total initial applicants to the program numbered nearly 300,000, of which more than 99% were found eligible to receive assistance.

•In a new program called “Pour It Forward,” aimed at supporting bartenders during Covid-19, Hendrick’s gin brand ambassadors will nominate members of the bartending community to create and post personal videos of cocktails made with Hendrick’s on social media. In addition to sharing the recipe, the bartender will nominate another bartender to do the same, and so the process will continue on, extending support throughout the trade community. Each participating bartender will be compensated for their efforts through the brand’s Stand Fast Fund, which is raising money from proceeds of sales of Hendrick’s-themed merchandise.

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