The index surveys beer distributors’ purchases across different segments and compares them to previous years. A reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting.
The total beer index in November retreated from the big October 2019 reading of 70. The November index fell to 47 for November 2019 from the November 2018 reading of 48. Compared to all November readings over the past five years, the total beer index sits in-line with the past three years. However, the “At-Risk Inventory” index for total beer index dropped to 47 and continues to remain below the 50-mark in the fourth quarter.
Looking across the segments:
- The flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB) segment retreated from prior month high marks in 2019. For November, the index was still relatively high at 69, but only a few points higher relative to the November 2018 reading of 63.
- The craft index at 53 for November 2019 came in lower than the November 2018 reading of 57. The Craft segment has bounced around the critical 50 mark for most of 2019 and remains in expansion territory for beer purchasers.
- The index for imports also took another big step back from 2018 highs but remains in expansion territory with a November index reading of 53 compared to the November 2018 reading of 69.
- Premium lights posted another slight increase over last year’s readings. The November 2019 reading of 37 was slightly higher than the November 2018 reading of 31. Premium regulars also ticked up slightly to 29, over this time last year at 25. Below premiums also saw an increase to 40 from 34. All three domestic segments continue to struggle with below 50 index readings.
- The cider segment continues to show the most variability of any segment in the BPI, falling to 32 from 58. Cider orders continue to contract from peak readings in late 2018. This series will continue to play out as regional cider brands compete aggressively against larger national cider brands.
The December 2019 BPI survey will run from December 9th through December 19th.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors with operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Licensed at the federal and state levels, beer distributors get bottles, cans, cases and kegs from a brewer or importer to stores, restaurants and other licensed retail accounts through a transparent and accountable regulatory system. Distributors build brands of all sizes — from familiar domestic beers to new startup labels and imports from around the world – and generate enormous consumer choice while supporting 141,000 quality jobs in their home communities. Beer distributors work locally to keep communities safe by sponsoring programs to promote responsible consumption, combat drunk driving and work to eliminate underage drinking.
The above content was provided by National Beer Wholesalers Association, October 7, 2019.
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