Kroger adds Wiedemann's beer to local lineup driving sales

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Courting local beer drinkers, Kroger Co. this month will stock
Wiedemann’s Special Lager on shelves at most of its stores in Greater
Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

The move is another bid by the nation’s largest supermarket operator
to tap thirsty customers driving the U.S. craft brewing boom.

More importantly, it’s the latest example of how Cincinnati-based
Kroger drafts popular local brands to win loyal shoppers, beat the
competition and bolster profits. So serious is Kroger about the “shop
local” model that it’s being replicated in more than 2,400 stores
across the U.S.

“Beer is a wonderful opportunity for us – it plays into a bigger trend
of committing to local products,” Kroger chief executive David Dillon
told The Enquirer earlier this year. “Beer plays into that, and we’re
doing really well with it. It’s all about selling more of what people
want.”

Store officials say regional brands inject local flavor into area
stores and send the message to customers that Kroger gets them.

Shoppers just love Noosa yogurt at Kroger subsidary King Soopers in
Denver. Kenny’s Key Lime Pie is a hit in Atlanta Kroger stores. Dave’s
Killer Bread is devoured in Portland, Ore. area Fred Meyer and QFC
stores – two other Kroger subsidiaries.

In the end, Kroger says, the strategy helps the grocer stand out by
offering a wider product selection that trumps the traditional lineup
of national brand basics at other stores.

It may be working: Kroger’s local market share has grown to 40 percent
from 39 percent in the past two years, according to industry tracker
Chain Store Guide.

Not your father's Wiedemann's brew
For local brands, landing on Kroger’s shelves is akin to an audition
on “American Idol.” Before Oprah Winfrey declared Graeter’s her
favorite ice cream, the brand got a significant boost from being sold
in local Kroger stores. Now, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip is
available from California to Florida.

“This is huge for us – Kroger sells 60 percent of the beer sold in
this market,” said Jon Newberry, owner of the George Wiedemann Brewing
Co.

Once one of the region’s top-selling brews, Wiedemann’s changed
ownership several times over four decades – with little investment in
advertising to promote it. Production ceased in 2006, when the last
brewer, Pittsburgh Brewing Co., went bankrupt.

Newberry, a former business reporter at The Enquirer, resuscitated the
Wiedemann’s brand in 2012 when he introduced and trademarked a
rebooted recipe at several bars.

The original was not craft beer, but a typical American lager.
Newberry says his Wiedemann’s is formulated to appeal to consumers
curious to try something different, but not too heavy or too
alcoholic.

“There are a lot of people drinking mainstream beer that are ready to
try something with more flavor,” Newberry said.

Founded in 1870, Wiedemann’s roots go back to Greater Cincinnati and
Northern Kentucky’s vibrant brewing tradition powered by the German
immigrants who settled here. At the height of its popularity, its
advertisements were a fixture at the Cincinnati Reds’ Crosley Field.

Ultimately, the Wiedemann’s brand suffered a fate that befell many
other regional brews: Uber-brewers Budweiser, Miller and Coor’s
expanded their distributions.

“It became a budget, low-profit margin beer,” Newberry said. “In the
end they only shipped it to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”

Local brands, a national strategy
Now, the tide is turning for local brewers, said Terry Turner,
Kroger’s national assortment manager for beer.

Craft beer accounts for 38 percent of Kroger’s sales growth in beer –
with the rest coming from new or expanded stores.

“People like going to their favorite watering hole and drinking local
beer, and they like the ability to buy that beer at their local
grocery store,” Turner said.

Cincinnati Kroger stores already offer a healthy array of other
homegrown beer brands, such as Christian Moerlein, Hofbrauhaus,
Hudepohl, Mt. Carmel and Rivertown.

Nationally, local brews now command 5 to 10 percent of shelf space in
the beer section of typical Kroger stores, Turner said.

“We make sure we call out local brands and build the section out from
that,” he said. “Our rule is if you’re brewing and bottling enough to
supply us, we won’t say no.”

Beyond beer, Kroger offers local brands from Busken Bakery cookies to
Queen City Sausage and Frisch’s tartar sauce to Grippo’s potato chips.

Analysts say sales – not sentimentality – are the drivers behind going
local. In the past decade or more, the grocery business has been
swamped by nontraditional competition as mass discounters like
Wal-Mart have added food to drive traffic.

“It resonates with customers,” said Joe Feldman, an analyst with
Telsey Advisory Group. “It makes them feel a little less like just a
cookie-cutter big national retailer.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?NoCache=1&Dato=20131011&Kategori=BIZ&Lopenr=310110097&Ref=AR


Re: Kroger adds Wiedemann's beer to local lineup driving sales
On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 06:51:13 -0400, Garrison Hilliard

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Kroger adds Wiedemann's beer to local lineup driving sales

Courting local beer drinkers, Kroger Co. this month will stock
Wiedemann’s Special Lager on shelves at most of its stores in Greater
Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

The move is another bid by the nation’s largest supermarket operator
to tap thirsty customers driving the U.S. craft brewing boom.

More importantly, it’s the latest example of how Cincinnati-based
Kroger drafts popular local brands to win loyal shoppers, beat the
competition and bolster profits. So serious is Kroger about the “shop
local” model that it’s being replicated in more than 2,400 stores
across the U.S.

“Beer is a wonderful opportunity for us – it plays into a bigger trend
of committing to local products,” Kroger chief executive David Dillon
told The Enquirer earlier this year. “Beer plays into that, and we’re
doing really well with it. It’s all about selling more of what people
want.”

Store officials say regional brands inject local flavor into area
stores and send the message to customers that Kroger gets them.

Shoppers just love Noosa yogurt at Kroger subsidary King Soopers in
Denver. Kenny’s Key Lime Pie is a hit in Atlanta Kroger stores. Dave’s
Killer Bread is devoured in Portland, Ore. area Fred Meyer and QFC
stores – two other Kroger subsidiaries.

In the end, Kroger says, the strategy helps the grocer stand out by
offering a wider product selection that trumps the traditional lineup
of national brand basics at other stores.

It may be working: Kroger’s local market share has grown to 40 percent
from 39 percent in the past two years, according to industry tracker
Chain Store Guide.

Not your father's Wiedemann's brew
For local brands, landing on Kroger’s shelves is akin to an audition
on “American Idol.” Before Oprah Winfrey declared Graeter’s her
favorite ice cream, the brand got a significant boost from being sold
in local Kroger stores. Now, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip is
available from California to Florida.

“This is huge for us – Kroger sells 60 percent of the beer sold in
this market,” said Jon Newberry, owner of the George Wiedemann Brewing
Co.

Once one of the region’s top-selling brews, Wiedemann’s changed
ownership several times over four decades – with little investment in
advertising to promote it. Production ceased in 2006, when the last
brewer, Pittsburgh Brewing Co., went bankrupt.

Newberry, a former business reporter at The Enquirer, resuscitated the
Wiedemann’s brand in 2012 when he introduced and trademarked a
rebooted recipe at several bars.

The original was not craft beer, but a typical American lager.
Newberry says his Wiedemann’s is formulated to appeal to consumers
curious to try something different, but not too heavy or too
alcoholic.

“There are a lot of people drinking mainstream beer that are ready to
try something with more flavor,” Newberry said.

Founded in 1870, Wiedemann’s roots go back to Greater Cincinnati and
Northern Kentucky’s vibrant brewing tradition powered by the German
immigrants who settled here. At the height of its popularity, its
advertisements were a fixture at the Cincinnati Reds’ Crosley Field.

Ultimately, the Wiedemann’s brand suffered a fate that befell many
other regional brews: Uber-brewers Budweiser, Miller and Coor’s
expanded their distributions.

“It became a budget, low-profit margin beer,” Newberry said. “In the
end they only shipped it to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”

Local brands, a national strategy
Now, the tide is turning for local brewers, said Terry Turner,
Kroger’s national assortment manager for beer.

Craft beer accounts for 38 percent of Kroger’s sales growth in beer –
with the rest coming from new or expanded stores.

“People like going to their favorite watering hole and drinking local
beer, and they like the ability to buy that beer at their local
grocery store,” Turner said.

Cincinnati Kroger stores already offer a healthy array of other
homegrown beer brands, such as Christian Moerlein, Hofbrauhaus,
Hudepohl, Mt. Carmel and Rivertown.

Nationally, local brews now command 5 to 10 percent of shelf space in
the beer section of typical Kroger stores, Turner said.

“We make sure we call out local brands and build the section out from
that,” he said. “Our rule is if you’re brewing and bottling enough to
supply us, we won’t say no.”

Beyond beer, Kroger offers local brands from Busken Bakery cookies to
Queen City Sausage and Frisch’s tartar sauce to Grippo’s potato chips.

Analysts say sales – not sentimentality – are the drivers behind going
local. In the past decade or more, the grocery business has been
swamped by nontraditional competition as mass discounters like
Wal-Mart have added food to drive traffic.

“It resonates with customers,” said Joe Feldman, an analyst with
Telsey Advisory Group. “It makes them feel a little less like just a
cookie-cutter big national retailer.”  

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?NoCache=1&Dato=20131011&Kategori=BIZ&Lopenr=310110097&Ref=AR


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