MillerCoors CEO Tom Long On The Evolving Beer Industry
Tom Long, Chief Executive Officer of MillerCoors, appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about the longtime summer tradition of drinking beer. The conversation ranged from the happenings of MillerCoors to legislation around the taxation of the industry.
"Summertime is beer time, and every single week of the summer is as big as Super Bowl week for beer, so we're focused," said Long.
He said that there's an enormous amount of innovation in the beer business, saying that customers, especially the younger demographic*, are drinking a little bit of everything.
"Craft brewers are doing great [but] premium lights are flat, and the economy part of the business is down a little bit," said Long.
He said the 40 percent of the American beer business is in light beers. Long went on to say that refreshment beers aren't going away anytime soon, but that the top end is growing fast and the company is focused on premiumizing its whole portfolio, noting higher-end beers like Blue Moon and Red's Apple Ale amongst others.
According to Long, the economy segment is soft simply because beer isn't a necessity.
"Richer consumers are able to drink more beer, and in fact, they are," said Long.
He also talked about the issue of beer taxation. Long said that 40 percent of every pint of beer is being taxed. Recently, many brewers took to Capitol Hill to voice their concerns.
Long mentioned that the BEER Act is an effort to lower taxes across the board on all brewers large and small. Like many brewers, he wants to spread the word on keeping beer taxes down.
*-Long's comment about the "younger demographic" was referring to those of legal drinking age.
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