CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, a craft beer umbrella comprised of Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Craft Beers, Deep Ellum Brewing, Perrin Brewing and Three Weavers Brewing, achieved big growth in 2019. Momentum was driven by the company’s foray into the hard seltzer category, flourishing flagship brands and refreshed packaging. These initiatives boosted shipments from 420,000 bbls in 2018 to 480,000 bbls in 2019, an increase of 60,000 bbls, or 14 percent.
In IRI scan data for Total U.S. Multi-Outlet and Convenience, CANarchy saw an increase in 2019 within its beer portfolio of 22 percent despite total craft beer being up less than 3 percent. When factoring in incremental hard seltzer brand growth, this trend accelerated to 29 percent. Growth was led by Cigar City Brewing, which saw an increase of 36 percent; Oskar Blues Brewery, which saw an increase of 33 percent and Squatters Craft Beers, which saw an increase of 36 percent. CANarchy secured the best YTD dollar trend among the Top 20 Craft Beer Providers and closed out 2019 with accelerated trends in the last four weeks of reported data.
Matt Fraser, President and Chief Operating Officer, said, “Leading into and throughout 2019 we made a concerted effort to utilize data insights paired with input from our valued distributor and retailer partners in order to make informed decisions in the ever-changing environment that we’re competing in. This approach provided a healthy balance that allowed us to drive smart innovation while generating healthy core brand growth throughout the collective.”
*All sales data and rankings refer to retail scans through IRI Total U.S. Multi-Outlet and Convenience through December 1, 2019.
The hard seltzer space
Through its ongoing commitment to innovation, CANarchy became the first national craft brewery to produce its own hard seltzer. CANarchy’s foray into the hard seltzer category contributed to roughly two thirds of the company’s shipment growth in 2019, and helped CANarchy brands reach a wider, more diverse consumer base. CANarchy seltzer sales are led nationally by Oskar Blues’ Wild Basin Variety Pack. Perrin’s Clear Coast, Squatters’ Grandeur Peak and Deep Ellum’s Blind Lemon provide variety and leverage local appeal in their home markets.
New beer innovation
Successful new beer offerings in 2019 included Oskar Blues’ Can-O-Bliss IPA Series and Squatters’ Juicy IPA. Can-O-Bliss is among the Top 10 New Craft 6-Packs introduced in 2019 according to retail IRI scans in Total U.S. Multi-Outlet and Convenience. Juicy IPA is currently the top-selling IPA brand in Utah. Within the Squatters portfolio, Juicy IPA is now the No. 2 best-selling beer overall and No. 1 in draft volume and distribution.
Healthy flagship brands
Every flagship in the portfolio experienced an increase in retail scans compared to 2018. Jai Alai IPA by Cigar City Brewing was the top performing flagship brand, which experienced a 41 percent YoY increase. Jai Alai is seeing success in new markets and its home state of Florida. The Tampa-based brewery’s flagship IPA saw an increase of 37 percent in Florida and is now the No. 1 Independent Craft Brand in Florida Multi-Outlet and Convenience. Other successful flagships include Apricot Hefeweizen by Wasatch, which saw an increase of 20 percent; Hop Rising Double IPA by Squatters, which saw an increase of 15 percent and Dallas Blonde by Deep Ellum, which saw an increase of 14 percent compared to 2018 IRI data.
Variety pack performance
The Oskar Blues CANundrum Mixed Pack transitioned from a 12-pack to a 15-pack offering in Q4 2018. In 2019, CANundrum saw a near triple digit rate of sale increase and a +71 percent dollar sales increase in IRI retail scan data. Furthermore, CANarchy launched Cigar City’s first mixed 12-pack offering and the CANarchy IPA Mix 12-Pack offering, a coast-to-coast curation of four IPAs from across the collective.
Packaging and design innovation
Five of the seven CANarchy brands transitioned from six-pack rings to full wrap recyclable cardboard cartons in 2019. Perrin, Wasatch and Three Weavers designs were reimagined, with updates to logos, cans and secondary packaging.
A vision for growth
As demonstrated by its broad range of successes and strong momentum in 2019, CANarchy represents a progressive vision for independent craft breweries to thrive in the increasingly competitive and challenging craft beer space. By sharing resources, ideas and support among breweries, CANarchy is able to offer the freshest, highest quality products possible to craft beer lovers throughout the United States and across the globe.
Tony Short, Chief Executive Officer, elaborated, “When matched up against our competitors in the craft space and throughout the broader beer category as a whole, we believe that our 2019 results position CANarchy to continue to gain momentum and drive growth into 2020. Coupled with maximizing efficiencies available through our cross-country footprint, we’re tremendously excited about our position in the marketplace.”