SOURCE: Restaurant Sciences

March 04, 2013 12:19 ET

SABMiller's Exit From Molson Coors Partnership Provides Opportunity for Improved Canadian On-Premise Beer Position

NEWTON, MA--(Marketwire - Mar 4, 2013) - "SABMiller is putting its own team on the ice now," says Chuck Ellis of SABMiller's prospects now that the company has dissolved its Canadian partnership with Molson Coors. Ellis is President of Restaurant Sciences LLC (Newton, MA), which tracks on-premise food and beverage sales in the U.S. and Canada. "Our Q4 2012 sample of more $30MM in beer sales for Canadian restaurants and bars looked at brand distribution. We were surprised by the depth of brand diversity in spite of AB-Inbev and Molson Coors' control of a combined 80 percent market share."

The chart below shows the Top-25 brands for Q4 of 2012:

Canadian On-Premise Brand Rank, Q4 2012
Rank   Brand   Manufacturer   Canadian Distributor
1   Budweiser   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
2   Granville Island   GIB/Creemore Springs (M-C)   Molson-Coors
3   Kokanee   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
4   Alexander Keith's   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
5   Coors Light   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
6   Guinness   Diageo   Diageo Canada
7   Labatt   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
8   Heineken   Heineken   Molson-Coors
9   Corona Extra   Modelo   Molson-Coors
10   Molson Canadian   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
11   Stella Artois   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
12   Miller Genuine Draft ("MGD")   SABMiller   Molson-Coors
13   Okanagan Spring   Sapporo International   Sapporo/Sleeman
14   Rickard's   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
15   Big Rock   Big Rock Brewery   Big Rock Brewery
16   Sleeman   Sleeman Brewery   Sapporo/Sleeman
17   Kronenbourg   Carlsberg Group   Carlsberg Group
18   Carling Black Label   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
19   Phillips   Phillips Brewing Company   Phillips Brewing Company
20   Strongbow Hard Cider   Heineken N.V.   Molson-Coors
21   Moosehead   Moosehead Breweries LTD   Moosehead Breweries LTD
22   Lighthouse   Lighthouse Brewing Company   Lighthouse Breweing Company
23   Rolling Rock   Anheuser-Busch   AB Inbev
24   Social Lager   GIN/Creemore Springs (M-C)   Molson-Coors
25   Driftwood Ale   Driftwood Brewery   Driftwood Brewery

"Of the Top-25 on-premise beers in Canada, only Budweiser has a double-digit market share," said Ellis. "The Canadian market is an intensely competitive landscape with twenty-five brands having on-premise share-of-sales of 1 percent or greater." While Molson Coors has 39 percent of Top-25 on-premise sales by dollar (compared to 40 percent for AB Inbev), SABMiller's Miller Genuine Draft makes up only 7.7 percent of the total. Here's a look at what MGD had to compete with for attention as part of the Molson Coors portfolio:

Top-25 On-Premise Brand   Manufacturer   Canadian Distributor
Granville Island   Granville/Creemore Springs (M-C)   Molson-Coors
Coors Light   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
Heineken   Heineken N.V.   Molson-Coors
Corona Extra   Modelo   Molson-Coors
Molson Canadian   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
Rickard's   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
Carling Black Label   Molson-Coors   Molson-Coors
Strongbow Hard Cider   Heineken N.V.   Molson-Coors
Social Lager (GIB)   Granville/Creemore Springs (M-C)   Molson-Coors
Miller Genuine Draft ("MGD")   SABMiller   Molson-Coors

"If SABMiller can combine good consumer marketing with a new distribution portfolio, they can improve on the position they had with Molson Coors," said Ellis. "AB Inbev and Molson Coors have built beautiful brand portfolios in Canada. But with 9 of the Top 25 brands coming from outside these two Goliaths, there is an opening to coalesce a strong third beer distributor there. The on-premise channel has long been the brewer's platform for consumer trial and adoption, and will fuel overall growth."

About Restaurant Sciences
Restaurant Sciences is the premier provider of syndicated data and insights on food and beverage consumption in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other foodservice establishments. The company delivers market share, market basket, competitive analysis, pricing, promotional, trend, segmentation and custom analytics to food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, as well as the broader industry they serve. Restaurant Sciences transforms over $1 Billion per month in guest check-level sales information into detailed data and insights across all segments of the foodservice landscape in the United States and Canada. Insights are delivered online through their business intelligence tool or through custom analytics. Visit

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  • Marianne Sabella Dempsey