Last week, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for May 2022. The May 2022 BPI survey is in line with April’s results, with the “total beer” category reading at 53 and the “at-risk” inventory category at 46. There is nothing particularly exciting in these results, which may be a good sign as it points to the industry settling down from the supply and demand shocks over the past 24 months. These results also show a steady improvement over the first quarter, with both April and May reporting a slightly higher ordering index along with a slightly lower “at-risk” index. Slightly higher ordering indices, combined with leaner inventory indices are good signals for June and the start of the summer beer selling season.
About NBWA’s Beer Purchasers’ Index: BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. 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.
Looking across the segments for May:
- The imports index continues to be in expansion territory with a reading of 71 in May 2022, slightly higher than the May 2021 reading of 68.
- The craft index is at 37, which is well below the May 2021 reading of 65.
- The premium lights index posted a reading of 48, which is well below the May 2021 reading of 64, but in line with recent historical trends.
- The premium regular index is at 37, well below the May 2021 reading of 48, returning to its long run averages.
- The below premium index is at 40, slightly below the May 2021 reading of 36.
- The FMB/seltzer index took another big hit, falling to 37 in May 2022 from the May 2021 reading of 82.
- Finally, the cider index remains below 50, with a reading of 31 compared to the May 2021 reading of 46.