The big brewers are continuing to lose share in the on-trade, according to the figures

The big brewers are continuing to lose share in the on-trade, according to the figures

Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillersCoors and Heineken all lost share to craft beers in the US on-trade in the first nine months of 2012, according to latest figures.  

Based on bar and restaurant point-of sale transactions, GuestMetrics said earlier today (17 December) that they found that A-B InBev saw a share loss of 55 basis points (bps), MillerCoors 50bps and Heineken 45bps in the period.

“The share losses experienced by A-B InBev, MillerCoors, and Heineken came directly at the hands of craft beers, which gained over two points of share in 2012,” said Peter Reidhead, GuestMetrics insights and strategy VP.  

It comes after the Brewers Association last week accused global beer companies of trying to “blur the lines” between their products and "genuine" craft beers.

According to the GuestMetric data, the largest loss in the first three quarters of the year was felt by Miller Lite (-65bps), followed by Bud Light (-45bps), Budweiser (-40bps), Corona Extra (-35bps), and Heineken (-30bps), GuestMetrics said. 

“Generally speaking, the largest beer brands are the ones that continue to encounter the greatest difficulties in on-premise,” said Reidhead.  

However, he noted that the share losses were partially offset by the fact the three brewers owned or distributed the five brands that saw the largest share gains this year. Heineken's Dos Equis achieved the largest share gain (+30bps) in the on-trade, followed by A-B InBev's Stella Artois (+25bps), MillerCoors' Blue Moon (+20bps) and Shock Top (+15bps) and Bud Light Platinum (+15bps) - both owned by A-B InBev. 

Bill Pecoriello, GuestMetric's CEO, said: “While success with those smaller brands certainly helped to offset the share losses experienced by their overall portfolio ... it will continue to be a challenge for those suppliers to innovate or acquire enough brands to offset the long-term pressure facing their biggest brands. 

He added: “It is critical that these brewers improve the effectiveness of marketing and promotion on their biggest brands.” 

Last year, A-B InBev acquired craft brewer Goose Island and is launching a craft advisory board next month. In 2010, MillerCoors set up a standalone craft and import business, Tenth & Blake