CHICAGO — Import beers deserve more retail shelf space and promotional support, according to Information Resources Inc.
While domestic brands such as Bud Light and Coors Light made IRI's “Top 30 Beer Brand Performers in 2006” list of the fastest-growing beer brands in supermarkets, 14 of those brands are imports, including the No. 1 spot: Newcastle Brown Ale from Scottish & Newcastle importers.
“Imports are on fire,” Bump Williams, IRI's beer, wine and spirits practice general manager, told SN.
Along with Newcastle, other strongly performing imports include Modelo Especial (No. 2), Stella Artois (No. 5), Corona Light (No. 6) and Guinness Draught (No. 8).
The ranking analyzed 76 brands on 11 different measures, including volume and dollar growth, pricing and the effectiveness of promotions. Brands must have at least 500,000 cases sold to be considered.
The ranking should send a message to retailers to increase shelf space so as to reduce out-of-stocks, Williams said. Retailers also need to price imports correctly, as Williams noted that most high-end beer drinkers are not price-sensitive.
Imports weren't the only high-end beers that made the list. Six craft brands — including Samuel Adams Seasonal (No. 3) and New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale (No. 17) — also were recognized.