The struggle is real. Both big and small beer makers are feeling the severe competitiveness of 6,600 plus breweries currently in operation and an overall declining beer market. Let’s revisit just a few big headlines:
- Constellation terminated around 60 of its 100 or so craft and specialty reps in August
- Last September, Anheuser-Busch laid off 380 employees from its craft, imports High End division
- Kansas’ Tallgrass Brewing suspended its operations indefinitely this August
- Chicago’s Baderbräu Brewing went belly up and sold all of its assets, including living indoor plants
- In March, Green Flash sold its newly minted East Coast operation in Virginia Beach, stopped East Coast distribution
- Brewers Association: 2018 on pace to have the highest number of brewery openings and closings
Adding fuel to the fire: Yesterday, MillerCoors announced it was eliminating approximately 350 salaried positions across the company, “the latest in a series of moves it has made in an effort to get its business back on track.” From Behind the Beer, the MillerCoors news page:
“We are moving quickly and decisively to get our business back on track,” MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said today in an email to distributors. “To accomplish this, we know we need the financial flexibility to invest in our brands and solutions at the right level, quickly capitalize on new opportunities, and maintain a robust marketplace presence. Our current fixed cost base limits our ability to do all this.”
The last time MillerCoors did a corporate reorganization was in 2013.
Of the 350 salaried positions MillerCoors is seeking to eliminate, approximately 150 are roles that had been held open or were cut earlier this year, the email said. MillerCoors also is offering a voluntary severance program as part of the restructuring.
The news comes after the announcement that MillerCoors would stop making its new Millennial-focused light beer Two Hats after less than a year. The story also noted that MillerCoors has appointed new marketing agencies for both Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s, will roll out a new lineup of flavored beverages called Cape Line in 2019 and that it will refocus hardcore on its classic Coors Light brand.