Photo of Jennifer Jones
“Jennifer Jones stands out as a leader in our industry because she is constantly working to gain a competitive advantage. She has an uncanny ability to embrace unorthodox thinking and find creative solutions to any issue or challenge,” so says Shannon Bennett, Team Lead Albertsons Companies at MillerCoors.
Jennifer Jones, Vice President Alcohol Sales at Albertsons/Safeway will receive the first Bonfort’s Lifetime Achievement Award on September 14th for outstanding performance in alcohol retailing, and MillerCoors thinks that sounds about right.
“As channels become increasingly blurred, it takes thoughtful, strategic thinking to gain a competitive advantage. We appreciate strong leaders like Jennifer and partners like Albertsons to create the needed change to keep the category relevant and thriving,” says Shannon.
Jennifer Jones has earned a reputation as a proactive and trusted advisor and leader on the teams she leads. During her career, she has helped rebrand and relaunch private label spirits and implemented campaigns that gained significant market share and far exceeded sales goals. Her thought leadership extends beyond the beer and spirits space; she teamed with other leaders from around the company to develop store-level employee communication tactics that are being rolled out across the company’s 2,300+ stores.
“Premium domestic brands like Miller Light and Coors are doing a good job on the 6,12,18, 24 and 36 aluminum and bottle packaging,” Jennifer observes. “But there are 6,000 breweries in the U.S. and the bigger names are now competing with the small labels. The craft segment is strong and taking shelf space.”
Shannon agrees, stating that the number of breweries in the U.S. is continuing to grow. “The beer market is constantly evolving in the U.S. Consumers are seeking, and getting access to, more flavors and options than ever before. Ultimately we find ourselves in the midst of an exciting and competitive time within beer industry.”
MillerCoors remains focused on its flagship brands, some of the largest in the U.S., like Coors Light and Miller Lite but the company is also adding incremental support and focus against the craft category by supporting Blue Moon Belgian White as well as partnering with local breweries such as Hop Valley, Saint Archer, Revolver and Terrapin to bring regional focused craft brands to local grocery stores or bars.
“We’ve also recently taken over the rights to market and distribute Sol in the U.S. This great brand has more than 100 years of history as one of the top beers in Mexico and we have rolled out new packaging and creative that is resonating with consumers.” Shannon says.
“Innovation is key to any brand’s growth in this category,” Jennifer advises. “Packaging is important, and some brands are doing a great job of that.”
The implementation of Sol’s new packaging and marketing campaign has allowed the brand to grow at a triple-digit rate over the last couple months. And with an innovative pipeline, it’s had tremendous customer response to the Arnold Palmer Spiked Half & Half, which debuted earlier this year.
In Jennifer Jones’s world alcohol is social, celebratory, and relaxing. “It’s great to see how alcohol has transformed into more of a social occasion.” Shannon Bennett concurs: “One of our biggest strengths is working on bringing a total category solution to our customers and consumers. We realize that beer is all about the occasion you are enjoying it in,and we are excited to have great beers for all different types of occasions – from tailgating with friends to splitting a bomber with a friend at home.
“We have every segment of beer covered and are continuing to work on making sure we are making the highest quality beers for whatever consumers’ upcoming beer drinking occasion might be.” says Shannon.
“Some of our more recent successes include the progress of Miller Lite, which has seen trend improvements over the last couple years and surpassed Budweiser to become the third-most popular beer in the country.”
We work in an ever-changing industry with a moving consumer target, and Jennifer works tirelessly to make a difference to Albertsons’ business by leveraging the strength of our portfolio, our category expertise and our partnership in Albertsons’ national promotions,” she enthuses.
“Jennifer stands out because she will always support change to drive the growth engine that will get to the same goal: Sales, Sales, Sales!”
“Jennifer stands out because she will always support change to drive the growth engine that will get to the same goal: Sales, Sales, Sales!” -Shannon Bennet, MillerCoors