Yesterday, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for September 2021. The NBWA Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) is an informal monthly statistical release giving distributors a timely and reliable indicator of industry beer purchasing activity. BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. Similar to the widely recognized Purchasing Managers’ Index, the BPI is a net-rising index and a leading indicator of industry performance based on survey responses from participating beer purchasers.
The September 2021 reading of 55 takes the industry back to pre-Covid trends when a mid-50s reading was more typical for this time of year. However, the components that make up the aggregate BPI reading continue to show very different trends. Most importantly, the FMB/Seltzer BPI reading took yet another dramatic hit, falling to an unprecedented 40 in September 2021 from 91 in September 2020. Imports were the only segment in solid expansion territory this month.
The “at-risk” inventory measures for September across all segments except the FMB/Seltzer segment remain below 50, signaling continued supply constraints in the distribution industry heading into the fourth quarter of 2021. The exception is the FMB/Seltzer category, which is expanding with an index reading of 59 for September 2021.
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 September:
- The index for imports continued into expansion territory with a reading of 65 in September 2021, with the same reading from September 2020.
- The craft index posted a reading of 44 for September 2021 compared to a reading of 55 in September 2020. This reading breaks a five-month streak of readings at or above 50.
- The regular domestic beer segment index posted a reading of 41 for September 2021, which is significantly below the September 2020 reading of 60.
- The below premium segment weighed in at 29, taking another significant hit from last September’s reading of 50.
- The FMB/Seltzer segment continued to see significant declines this summer. This segment took another big hit, falling 51 points from 91 in September 2020 to 40 in September 2021.
- Finally, the cider segment remained below 50, with a reading of 34 in September 2021 compared to 45 in September 2020.