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US: Off-trade beer volumes slip, but Heineken makes ground

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Off-trade beer volumes in the US fell by 3.4% in the latest quarter, but Heineken is continuing to gain market share, according to recently-released figures.

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Domestic shipments for brewers in the three months to the end of February were down by 2.3%, while imports decreased by 2.9%, Nielsen figures, reported by analysts Bernstein Research today (9 April), revealed. The drop-off was attributed to a tough weather comparison. 

Heineken saw the best performance, with off-trade volumes up by 3.4% in the three-month period. “The Mexican portfolio continues to drive growth while the Dutch portfolio remains weak although much improved,” Bernstein noted. However, its price-mix fell slightly, by 1.3%.

Anhesuer-Busch InBev saw its volumes lift by 0.9% in the quarter, helped by the launch of Budwesier Black Crown and improvements for Budweiser, the analysts said.

MillerCoors' off-trade volumes were “broadly flat”, but Coors Light, Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's offset drops for the rest of the portfolio, the note said.

Crown Imports had a strong quarter with volumes rising by 6.2%. In particular, Especial saw sales jump by 24% by volume, while Corona and Corona Extra both saw volumes gains of 3%.

Constellation Brands is set to take full control of Crown Imports this year. Its partner in the JV, Grupo Modelo, has agreed to offload its stake to satisfy regulators as it is bought out by Anheuser-Busch InBev.


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