Study: Liquor costs more at state-owned stores than in private stores
NEW YORK — Liquor can cost $2 more at liquor stores in states where the government has a monopoly on sales than at privately owned stores, according to a new study.
Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, the Boston Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University analyzed the prices of 74 different alcohol brands in 13 "control states" — states where the government has a monopoly on liquor sales — and at 50 private retailers in "license states." The study appeared online in the journal Addiction.
The researchers, led by Boston University professor Michael Siegel, found that the average price for liquor was $27.79 in the license states, versus $29.82 in the control states.
In November 2011, voters in Washington passed a ballot initiative to legalize private sales of liquor in the state. Initiative 1183, which received most of its financial support from Issaquah, Wash.-based club retailer Costco Wholesale, converted Washington from a control state to a license state. Washington’s liquor-control laws dated back to the aftermath of Prohibition and were put in place as a way to continue limiting the sales and consumption of liquor.
The remaining control states, such as Pennsylvania and Utah, exercise varying degrees of control over sales of alcohol, with Utah requiring most alcoholic beverages to be sold in state-owned stores, for example. Other states still place limits on the kinds of retailers that can sell alcohol, such as New York, which only allows liquor and most wine to be sold in boutique liquor stores.
New intros warm up soup category
New introductions should put some heat back into the soup category. The category’s performance — according to a recent report from Mintel — has been lukewarm, with a compounded annual growth rate of only 1% from 2006 to 2011.
Mintel expects performance to improve as the economy bounces back and as manufacturers bring more innovation to the sleepy category. The market research firm expects the soup market to reach $7.2 billion in sales in current dollars by 2016, a compounded growth of more than 2%.
Innovative new products have been entering the wet soup segment, which commands 60% of category sales. New products in packaging that make heating easier are designed to position soup as a quick, year-round meal option for consumers.
Campbell Soup, the category leader with more than 60% share of category sales, recently began a roll out of 50 products in new ethnically-inspired flavors — including Moroccan Style Chicken, Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder, and Spicy Chorizo — designed to tempt consumers with increasingly sophisticated palates.
The new soups feature such ingredients as tomatillos, coconut milk and shiitake mushrooms, and are packaged in easy-to-open plastic pouches that can be heated in a microwave in less than three minutes.
General Mills recently launched two light Progresso soups: Light Creamy Potato with Bacon and Cheese, and Light Chicken Pot Pie Style. Both contain 100 calories or less.
Dry soup sales, which have been growing annually, are likely to continue to climb, according to Mintel’s report. Ramen noodle sales represent a huge portion of the dry soup category and are dominated by category leader Maruchan, which posted an 8.5% sales increase in 2011.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Pantry/Grocery Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
ReportersNotebook — Consumables, 11/5/12
SUPPLIER NEWS — Mars Chocolate has unveiled its Easter 2013 lineup. The new items this spring will include Snickers Peanut Butter Squared minis, Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate eggs, Twix minis-filled eggs, M&M’s milk chocolate fun size filled gift box, Snickers Eggs 2-To-Go, Snickers Peanut Butter Eggs 2-To-Go and Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate bunny. The new Easter products carry a suggested retail price range of 60 cents to $3.99.
Kettle Brand has added Kettle Brand Bakes, which are toasted rather than kettle-cooked and contain 65% less fat than Kettle’s fried chips. They contain no trans fats, no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives. The new chips are available in five flavors: Hickory Honey Barbeque, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt, Cheddar & Roasted Tomato and tangy Sour Cream & Onion. The product is available in 4-oz. bags for a suggested retail price of $3.39.
Buddy Fruits has launched what it calls the first 100% fruit gel pouch to hit the market. Buddy Fruits said its new Jiggle Gel pouch is portable, healthy and fun to eat. Available in raspberry, strawberry and orange flavors, the vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free fruit gel is made with only fruit and fruit pectin, and touts 70 calories per pouch. Buddy Fruits can be found in more than 28,000 retailers across the United States.