Beer Business Daily (by: Harry Schuhmacher)
Tamarron results are in, but we donâ€™t have any big winners to single out this go â€™round.
Nope, instead of conducting the typical survey, in which distributors rank suppliers on a variety of topics, Tamarron changed things up this year to â€œfocus on supplier/brewer adaptation and execution during the Covid-19 era.â€
The survey was conducted over June 2020, and received responses from 132 distributors, many of those being â€œtop/mega distributors.â€Â
The questions to distribs focused on a â€œreduced setâ€ of six key suppliers â€“ Anheuser-Busch, Boston Beer, Constellation, Heineken USA, Molson Coors and Sierra Nevada â€“ and asked them to rate the suppliers with each query a scale of â€œConsistently, Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Neverâ€ to â€œbetter identify the consistency with which brewer leadership, sales and supply chain teams demonstrate the desired business traits.â€
Weâ€™re not going to dive into all the results, but weâ€™ll bring you the highs and lows, and other interesting tidbits from the other side of the aisle (more on the supplier side in story below).
WHERE BREWERS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT. The most consistent behavior seen from suppliers over the COVID era, according to distribs, were â€œpolicies for anticipated out-of-code on-premise kegsâ€ â€“ i.e. the suppliers have â€œclearly communicated policies for handling anticipated out-of-code kegs, including extended code dates on kegs, collecting out-of-code packages from on premise/venues, recommended decanting procedures, keg return logistics, etc.â€
The survey notes that distributors also handed out favorable tallies to brewers for their management of â€œbrewer organizational changesâ€ as well as â€œmarketing & media re-allocationâ€ â€“ â€œa nod to quick re-tooling of advertising & social media campaigns, messaging and spending,â€ per survey.Â
WHERE THEY HAVE WORK TO DO. The â€œleast consistentâ€ behavior demonstrated by suppliers over the COVID time frame dealt with â€œenhancing revenue/offsetting lossesâ€ meaning there have been little â€œdiscussions to generate ideas to help distributors enhance revenue streams/margins and offset losses.â€
Distributors also â€œlooked less favorably upon brewers for their ability to â€˜capitalize on E- commerce trends,â€™â€ according to the results.
Communication to distributors â€œremains a big opportunity/area of concern,â€ per results. Then â€œsupply chain transparency, production and flexibility,â€ were listed as other opportunity areas for suppliers as well.
AND THE MOST FASCINATING FINDINGS. But perhaps, some of the most fascinating takeaways from this yearâ€™s survey came when Tamarron asked distributors about their various responses to COVID, and what kind of lasting damage they foresee to some of their on-premise accounts.
When asked about organizational changes in response to COVIDâ€¦