The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for July 2023. The BPI is a forward-looking indicator measuring expected demand from beer distributors — one month forward. A reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting. Got it?
Recently, the craft segment has been struggling to get the attention of customers and thus distributors. Guess what the craft BPI reading was in March 2023? 28! Well, that number might have been the bottom for craft beer, according to the NBWA’s latest report, as things are trending upward.
The July BPI remained above the benchmark (50) at 54 while the At Risk Inventory (ARI) measure fell significantly to 44, the first reading below 50 since February. The July results show a second straight month of positive ordering trends for most segments, led by a 14 point jump for premium regular. Slightly higher ordering rates and lower inventories point to positive quarterly trends.
Looking across the segments for July:
- The index for imports continues to point to expanding volumes with a July 2023 reading of 70, three points higher than the July 2022 reading of 67.
- The craft index at 39 continues to signal contraction but is seven points above the July 2022 reading of 32, suggesting the segment has bottomed out and may see higher levels of ordering in the future.
- The premium lights index posted another expansionary index reading of 54, nine points higher than the July 2022 reading of 45.
- The premium regular segment index at 50 is also significantly above the July 2022 reading of 36.
- A big downward shift in the below premium segment to 39 puts it well below the July 2022 reading of 52. This breaks a twelve-month streak of expanding (above 50) readings for below premiums.
- The FMB/seltzer reading of 30 in July is now slightly higher than the July 2022 reading of 28, suggesting the segment, similar to craft, has bottomed out and may see higher levels of ordering in the future.
- Finally, the cider segment posted a July reading at 32 compared to 29 in July 2022