The overall beer volume numbers from Heinken (HINKY) for 2013 weren't outstanding, but a late-year surge in demand in Africa was a bright spot with several big brewers betting heavy on the region.
A positive read from IRI on January beer sales: Retailers reported a 6.75% increase in sales compared to a year ago for the four-week period ending January 26.
Craft beer market share rose to 7.5% in 2013 after standing at 5.5% just two years ago. Many of the large global brewers are turning to new craft brewery acquisitions and craft products in order to stoke demand.
Related stocks: Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), Heineken (HINKY), Molson Coors (TAP), SABMiller (SBMRY), Boston Beer (SAM), Craft Brew Alliance (BREW).
Beer production in Brazil fell 2% last year as consumers struggled to meet some of the higher prices charged by brewers. It was the first time in four years production fell, according to government tracking.
The region continues to be a disappointment for an industry (BUD, HINKY, ABEV, KNBWY) which has invested heavily on growth with the World Cup and Olympics both upcoming.
Fox Sports (FOXA) pulled in an impressive Nielsen rating of 21.1M viewers for the recent NFL season, an 8% increase from last year's level.
The sports network made some sizable gains with women viewers, including a double-digit pop for women in the 25-54 age range.
Media analysts have noted in the past that a percentage point increase in women's viewership for sports can carry more weight than a comparable gain in viewers from the opposite gender as more advertising opportunities are opened up. Beer marketing (BUD, TAP, SBMRY, HINKY) is the prime example with the macho campaigns of the past becoming rarer as the female demographic is targeted by the industry.
Brewers in the U.K. are getting set to battle regulators over TV advertising after a single complaint about a commercial from an industry coalition group caused it to be pulled.
The 'Let There Be Beer' campaign aimed to "re-ignite" demand in the U.K. amid soft sales before hitting the snag. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), Heineken (HINKY), SABMiller (SBMRF), Carlsberg (CABGY), and Molson Coors (TAP) are united on the issue.
Heineken (HINKY) expects to see solid growth in Mexico next year as the economic situation in the nation improves.
The Dutch brewer and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD +1.9%) control 99% of the beer market in Mexico, a level of domination which has kept Mexican regulators busy.
Despite the extra attention from antitrust officials, Heineken expects to grow its market share even higher next year at A-B's expense - led by its Mexican brands such as Tecate, Dos Equis, Indio, and Sol.
SABMiller (SBMRY.PK) criticizes a ruling by authorities in Mexico on sales exclusivity, saying the measure didn't go far off enough to open up competition. The brewer is desperate to break up the stranglehold that Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -1.4%) and Heineken (HINKY.PK) have on the retail beer sales in Mexico.
Mexican regulators says Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and Heineken (HINKY.PK) will have to cap exclusive distribution deals with smaller retailers in Mexico to 20% of total point-of-sales or face fines. The ruling could help SABMiller (SBMRY.PK) with the pair of dominant brewers accounting for an estimated 98% of all beer sales in Mexico.
After SABMiller (SBMRY.PK) missed out on a major acquisition in Mexico, the brewing company hopes regulators in the nation will bail it out. Sometime in the next week a ruling from Mexico's Federal Competition Commission will set out if contracts that Heineken (HINKY.PK) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) have with stores and retailers restrict competition. A positive decision could provide SABMiller a quick fix to slipping market share in the region.
Global beer companies might find lucrative long-term growth opportunities in Africa, according to fresh analysis from Bernstein Research. The firm concludes brewers with operations already up and running have a clear advantage over new entrants. Right now - SABMiller (SBMRY.PK), Heineken (HINKY.PK), and Diageo (DEO) have the edge while Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and Carlsberg face high barriers to entry if they want to make a late charge.