You might say, that's not big news just look at Total Wine and More. So I'll look at Total Wine and More, they have a small cooler reserved for premiums and imports and everything else is warm shelf. However, they don't price promote premiums competitively but have a low everday price so customer traffic doesn't always go to Total Wine and More for premiums; they shop the ads and those are the stores that get all of the incremental sales at that time. I'm wondering what sales Total Wine and More would have with big price motion on a premium package such as a 30pk. If you're like me, you go into Total Wine and More for an exact number of items and leave with two to three times more. My check-out amount is usually much more than I planned and I rationalize it every time in there...saves me another trip. It will last a long time. Then I drink faster and it's all gone, damn elastic consumables.
I conclude that a healthy beer category selection with competitively priced brands and price promoting ads for the average beer drinker in America leads to an increase in the beer category sales in that store. I sat in on a talk during last year's Craft Brewer's Conference where there were three beer category managers from three different chains representing, supermarket, independent super, and convenience. Not one of them had a beer category model that would maximize sales of all beer segments, instead they all gave away space from premiums to craft brands and tracked the sales after the changes. They were all happy with their increase in craft beer sales but never mentioned what happened to the overall category...of course not, they're at the craft brewer's conference. Nor did they talk about the customer traffic they get from a "hot" premium package ad and how they look at craft beer as a full margin product only. They liked the customer traffic increase from increasing craft beer selection but did not discuss lost revenue from lack of shelf space for premium beer ad items. I'll say it again, promote all beer categories and get all of the beer drinkers. Large warm shelf selection for craft beer and keep the average beer drinker happy and returning to your store by price promoting the premium beers. Then all of the beer drinkers are happy; why in the wide, wide world of sports would you want to play one against the other?