July 16, 2018


Boston Back on Top in Tamarron




Dear Client:


Results from the annual Tamarron Beverage Supplier Performance survey, in which distributors rank suppliers on a variety of topics, hit this morning.


QUICK NOTES ON METHODOLOGY. A total of 206 distributors responded to the latest survey (conducted April 2 to June 7). That's a drop from the amount of respondents in last year's survey (244). Still, these results are coming from some big houses. The average reported volume for the 206 distributor respondents this year was 5.5 million cases, Tamarron said, indicating that there are "a large percentage of the mega distributors" chiming in. Indeed, these 206 distributors represented around 39% of 2017 total U.S. malt beverage industry volume.


And one other important note on methodology for this year's survey: Tamarron shared that both Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors "requested that only distributors carrying their core portfolios (e.g., Budweiser, Bud Light, Mich Ultra, etc. for ABI and Miller Lite or Coors Light brands for MC) respond to the survey in 2018."


As typical, these 206 distributors were asked 73 performance-based questions grouped into 13 functions; and the distributors rate the suppliers on a scale of 1 to 5.


THE RESULTS. So who took home this year's honors of top ranked supplier? Well, it's a brewery that's grown accustomed to sitting in the top spot over the past decade: Boston Beer.


As you may recall, Boston Beer topped the Tamarron results for seven years in a row, before being bested by MillerCoors and Constellation Beer last year.


1.     Boston reclaimed the lead position this year with a score of 3.53, which is 0.20 better than their score last year.

2.     Constellation grabbed the second spot at 3.43, which is a slight improvement over last year's rating of 3.40

3.     MillerCoors came in third with a score of 3.28, a decline from last year's score of 3.40

4.     Mike's Hard Lemonade locked up the fourth spot with a rating of 3.17, a slight improvement over last year. Tamarron noted that Mike's has "posted gradual improvements since 2014 to be competitive with the top three."

5.     And Heineken USA rounded out the top 5 with a rating of 2.91, which is just a skosh below their score last year (2.96).


These five suppliers were the only ones out of the group of 12 to score above the industry average of 2.90.


And less than half of the suppliers posted improvements over last year. Boston, up 0.20; Constellation, up 0.03; and Mike's, up 0.04; as we noted above. Then there was Yuengling, up 0.06 points to 2.81 - good enough for the seventh spot. And the biggest improvement over last year belongs to Anheuser-Busch, up 0.30 points, taking its score to 2.80 and placing the brewer in the eight spot this year. Though Tamarron notes that A-B's uptick could be attributed "to asking only their core distributors to respond," as we detailed at the top.


Much more from Tamarron tomorrow.



Until tomorrow,


Harry, Jenn, and Jordan