A May report by the Washington DC-based trade association, the Beer Institute wasn’t encouraging news for the many who work in the beer biz…In fact it was a total buzz-kill!
Here’s the deal….
After decades of growth (much of it due to the emerging craft beer industry) the Beer institute is projecting that beer shipments could drop by as much as 3% in 2018 compounding the 1.3% decline we saw last year.
Even the BI’s best-case scenario which estimates a 1% volume drop this year was sobering….
“While I’d very sincerely love to be wrong, I’m predicting another down year for beer,” said BI chief economist Michael Ulrich on Twitter. “Beer has HEAVY headwinds that it’s facing: tariffs and other market distortions, declining penetration especially in the 21-25 y/o range.”
The Beer Institute’s estimate comes after a brutal 2017…
Value beer was the only segment to grow in the 12-month period (never a good sign when the overall beer segment is declining) and beer continued to lose market share to wine and spirits falling below 50% for the first time.
Meanwhile, the previously unstoppable craft segment slowed, although products sold directly to consumers through taprooms, brewpubs remained strong.
And with the falling US dollar, import growth “slowed dramatically” in 2017 according to the Beer Institute, and as Just Drinks noted ‘almost all of the growth was in Mexican beer.”