In the past two decades, craft beer has been the darling of the beverage industry as the domestic beer segment produced, at times, double-digit growth in sales and volume. As that performance has decelerated to single digits, analysts suggest this could be a sign that the market has reached a maturation point.
Beer manufacturers rally around Beer Growth Initiative
March 14, 2019
With dollar sales reaching approximately $112 billion, the U.S. beer market continues to be one of the top categories based on dollar sales in the overall beverage industry. However, although dollar sales have seen slight increases, volume sales have been challenged in recent years. To tackle these challenges, the National Beer Wholesalers Association unveiled the Beer Growth Initiative (BGI), an industry-wide effort to improve the category health of the beer industry.
As craft beer has shown itself to be measurable force in the beer market, more craft brewers are exploring varying beer styles to appeal to broader consumer base. Now, sour beer and more sessionable offerings like lagers are populating craft brewers portfolios.
In the United States, the hard cider market has experienced its shares of ups and downs. According to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), the hard cider market was up 7.4 percent in case sales for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2018, in total U.S. multi-outlets, including convenience stores. This marks a notable change for the market, which was down 3.1 percent in dollar sales during the same time period in 2017.
As beverage alcohol manufacturers seek out ways to provide a low-calorie solution, it seems as though the latest craze to hit the flavored malt beverage (FMB) segment is fulfilling that need state. “Hard seltzers are raising the bar around perceived health and wellness and attracting much of the dollars spent in the space,” says Brian Sudano, managing partner for Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC).
In recent years, the imported beer market has outpaced the overall beer market in dollar and case sales. Based on recent insights, the segment’s performance continued throughout 2018 and experts forecast a positive impact on the market in 2019. That growth has been coming from established Mexican beer brands, experts note.