Thursday, December 04, 2008

Beverage Trends for 2009

I am going to pull out my crystal ball and give you a quick glimpse of the top ten events that will occur in our beloved beverage industry in 2009 and beyond. In light of recent trends in our economy and the official announcement of an actual recession (a few months late I might add), next year will not be as bad as everyone thinks. There will actually be a few highs to go along with the multitude of lows:

1. AB/Inbev will still be King. Best products, image, quality, focus.

2. Sales of Energy drinks will begin a long, though not steep, decline. The pipeline of new energy drinks will start to close and the entrenched players will began a war of attrition that will have many casualties.

3. Miller/Coors will precariously hold market share through the manipulation of its distributor network. I just love the term "independent business person." MCBC's conduct over the last few years has been disgraceful and unethical. Watch your back guys and don't forget to document everything.

4. Pepsi just keeps looking better and better to me.

5. Coke should have saved a few of those billion$.

6. We still want healthy alternatives to all this sugar. I find myself drinking more and more water instead of junk.

7. The big beverage companies will make just as much money in 2009.

8. Fuel will be reasonable (if you call $2.25 diesel reasonable) and insurance will not.

9. It will be tougher to make those debt payments if you're a beer distributor, though not because of lower sales. You'll sell more and make less. Your suppliers are going to squeeze every bit they can from you in the form of more expensive POS, fuel surcharges, dunnage increases, margins, marketing co-op, advertising. You name it, they're going to take it.

10. The hot selling flavors will be coconut, cocoa/chocolate, and blueberry.

Now that you know the future, get ready those business plans...2009 will be here before you know it. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.