67 WALL STREET, New York - March 19, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Restaurants, Food and Drinks Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.
Topics covered: Shift Toward Healthier Food Options - Consumer Spending Patterns Polarize - Emerging Market Expansion - Baby Boomers, Millennials and U.S. Hispanic Preferences
Companies include: Attitude Drinks (ATTD); BJ's (BJRI); Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE); Pepsico's (PEP); Smucker's (SJM); and many more.
In the following brief excerpt from the Restaurants, Food and Drinks Report, expert analysts discuss the outlook for the sector and for investors.
Terry E. Michaelson has served as the sole Chief Executive Officer of Craft Brew Alliance, Inc., since November 13, 2008. He was the company's Co-Chief Executive Officer prior to that, beginning July 1, 2008, with the effective date of the merger with Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. He served as President of Craft Brands, a sales and marketing joint venture between the company and Widmer, from July 2004 to July 1, 2008. From March 1995 to June 2004, Mr. Michaelson served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Widmer, and from January 1994 to June 2004, he served as a Director of Widmer.
TWST: Please begin with a brief overview of the history and evolution of Craft Brew Alliance.
Mr. Michaelson: We like to view ourselves as a company that has really evolved. It's interesting because Redhook and Widmer Brothers were really part of the craft brewing revolution. They started it and were pioneers. So when Widmer Brothers started, for instance, they had one draft beer, which was very unique, and that was kind of creating something that was special and different for the beer consumer. And now the beer consumers are looking for a lot broader variety of styles, beer experiences to drink craft in draft, bottles and cans. With having the Redhook, Widmer Brothers and Kona brands together, we now have a portfolio that we think is very unique and fits with where the consumer is, in terms of their need for a variety in beers and brands.
TWST: You offer your products directly to consumers via restaurants, pubs, liquor stores, supermarkets, warehouse outlets. What are you branding in beverage products that you feel are more appropriate and will continue to contribute to your success?
Mr. Michaelson: Well, I think it starts with authenticity. It really is the consumer who wants an interesting story. They want to know that they can trust the brand. They want to be surprised and excited by it, and starting with unique stories that resonate with the consumer is important. As I said, each of our brands has a very unique position, and that allows us also to deliver different styles of beers that really fit with that brand personality. And that's important, because at the end of the day, this is a consumer looking for beer variety based on particular drinking occasions. For instance, if you just finish mowing a lawn, you certainly have a different expectation from your beer than if you are at a white table cloth restaurant with a date or if you are at a barbecue with friends. Our brands are authentic, they are unique, they are fun, and they resonate with the consumer and fit those different drinking occasions.
TWST: How would you describe the competitive landscape as you see it today, and what would you say gives you an edge over these other players?
Mr. Michaelson: Well, it is a very crowded landscape, that's for certain. There are a lot of breweries already in existence, and the industry is talking about licenses for more than 900 new breweries. So there is certainly a lot of competition, but we'd like to say at this point, as we look at what's happening out there, that we have an advantaged strategy in an advantaged segment. And by that we mean when you look at the craft segment, it's certainly been growing; it has had a growth rate of 7% over the last five years, and that's accelerating. So it's actually been double digit over the last couple of years, and more importantly, the growth in the craft is being driven by a consumer shift in their buying habit to look for variety and to look for that kind of affordable luxury.
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