The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for February 2019. 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 February 2019 Beer Purchasers’ Index of 60.7 for total beer rose well above the February 2018 index of 49. This marks the second month for the BPI to beat previous readings from the past four years. It also marks the highest reading the industry has seen since July 2018. Just where is the growth coming from though?
Looking across the segments …
The index for imports continues to indicate expanding volumes with a February index at 62. However, this is a significant drop from the February 2018 index of 70.
The craft index at 55 is only slightly below last year’s reading of 56, and the index indicates a very slight expansion in volume of craft beer orders.
Premium lights and premium regulars posted significantly higher readings for February relative to last year. Premium lights picked up almost a ten-point gain from February 2018 to February 2019. Below premiums also rose three points to 36. All three segments continue to struggle with below 50 index readings.
The flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB) segment continues to break the upper boundaries with an index of 71, significantly above the 51 reading from February 2018.
The cider segment continues to expand. The February 2019 reading of 52 is well above the 32 index from February 2018. This is the segment’s fifth monthly reading above 50.
The “At Risk” inventory measures for total beer at 54 is one point higher than February last year and is a slightly higher reading from January 2019.
The March 2019 BPI survey runs from March 7 through March 15. Results will be released to participating distributors on March 18.