Molson Coors Brewing Company today reported that MillerCoors third quarter underlying net income increased 9.6% to $377.5 million versus the same period in the prior year.
This increase was driven primarily by higher net pricing, positive sales mix and lower cost of goods sold, the company says.
MillerCoors sales-to-retail volume (STRs) decreased 4.0% in the third quarter and sales-to-wholesalers volume (STWs) was down 0.6%.
Miller Lite gained share of the Premium Light segment for the eighth consecutive quarter, the company says, but STRs were down mid-single digits. The brand recently brought back the limited release Steinie bottle, building on the success of the same seasonal release last year. The Steinie, available through the holiday season, will be supported through media support and a variety of on- and off-premise tools. The brand also launched new ads comparing the beer to its chief competitor, with all the commercials emphasizing that Miller Lite has “more taste, less calories and half the carbs.”
Coors Light gained share of the Premium Light segment for the sixth consecutive quarter, the company says, but STRs were down low-single digits. Coors Light recently announced a number of retail promotions around college football, from celebrity ambassadors to pregame concerts, now through the National Championship in January.
Total MillerCoors Above Premium STRs finished down mid-single digits, despite success from Henry’s Hard Soda. The Redd’s family declined high-single digits, as low-single-digit growth of the Wicked brands was more than offset by declines across the balance of the Redd’s portfolio.
The MillerCoors Tenth & Blake portfolio finished the quarter down high-single digits. The Blue Moon Brewing Company STRs declined high-single digits, led by declines in Blue Moon seasonals. The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company STRs were down mid-teens, partially caused by Summer Shandy demand outselling production a month earlier than planned.
MillerCoors recently announced that, due to the current scale of Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s and the capacity needed to fuel their growth, both brand families will be moved out of Tenth and Blake and into the MillerCoors commercial organization.
The belief is that the shift of Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s to the MillerCoors organization will not only allow a deeper focus on and commitment to these two strategic brand families, but it will also enable Tenth and Blake to focus on the development and integration of our new craft partners into the MillerCoors system. With Tenth and Blake’s acquisitions of Saint Archer Brewery, Terrapin Beer Company, Hop Valley Brewing and Revolver Brewing, the portfolio of craft brands has grown within the past 11 months.
Nearly a year after partnering with Tenth and Blake, Saint Archer Brewing in San Diego achieved its highest-ever STR volume in the quarter, the company reports. Saint Archer is currently working to expand its presence at retail, having recently launched in Las Vegas and Arizona, and is considering additional markets for expansion.
In the Premium Regular segment, Coors Banquet gained segment share and grew STR volume low-single digits for the quarter and remains on target for a 10th consecutive year of growth, the company says.
The MillerCoors Below Premium portfolio decreased mid-single digits, driven by a low-single-digit decline of Miller High Life, a mid-single-digit decline in Keystone and a high-single-digit decline in Milwaukee’s Best. While Icehouse grew low-single digits for the fourth consecutive quarter, the Steel Reserve franchise was down low-single digits, with the Steel Alloy Series up low-single digits. Milwaukee’s Best recently updated its packaging, which is in market now, while Keystone Light will follow suit with refreshed packaging of its own.