Koch also noted that not all shelf space is created equal and the more desirable cooler space is also becoming harder to come by for craft brands since "there are some stores you go into that you really can't see a whole lot more space coming out of that cooler."
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As a result, Koch said he's starting to see "more warm shelf activity" as it's easier to make space for craft beer on warm shelves that are already in the store but are carrying something else. The downside, according to Koch, is that the warm-shelf area tends to be "less shopped and less desirable" space.
The situation is an important one for craft brewers, who often roll out seasonal brews and limited-time offerings.
In Boston Beer's latest quarter, seasonal beer offerings played a large part in the company's depletion growth. CEO Martin Roper noted the success of the new Samuel Adams spring seasonal Cold Snap having a "strong seasonal performance."
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In the first quarter, the company fell short on earnings per share by 7 cents but revenue topped forecasts. Depletions, or the total number of cases sold by a distributor to retailers, were up by 34 percent over the same time period a year ago.
Still, the company was cautious on its outlook for the rest of year, keeping its depletion estimates in the 16 percent to 20 percent range, noting the increase in depletions in the first quarter was likely impacted by the release of new items like Cold Snap, Rebel IPA and Twisted Lemonade.
Boston Beer also noted it achieved price increases of about 2 percent during the quarter.