The Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for May 2019 is showing continued momentum for beer. The index, released by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), 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 May 2019 Beer Purchasers’ Index at 61.9 for total beer rose above the May 2018 index of 58.7, marking the fifth month in 2019 above 50. These figures indicate expanding beer orders to suppliers.
Compared to all May readings over the past five years, the May 2019 Index was higher than in 2016, 2017 and 2018, although it still fell below the 2015 index.
The “At Risk Inventory” index reading at 52.5 is slightly lower than the prior year’s reading of 55.1, but continues to increase slightly as inventories build heading into summer selling seasons.
Looking across the segments
The index for imports took a significant step back in May with an index of 58.7 compared to the May 2017 reading of 71.3. The segment is taking on a similar trend to craft by finding a new equilibrium point just slightly lower, but still expanding.
The craft index at 54.8 is about even with last year’s reading of 55.1. This index indicates a continued expansion in volumes in 2019.
Premium lights posted slightly higher readings for May 2019 at 44, but are still well below the expansion territory. Premium regulars and below premiums both saw declines in index readings relative to last year. 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 78.8, which is significantly above the 55.3 reading from May 2018. The May reading marks another record-breaking index for the category.
The cider segment took another breather from expansion territory with a May 2019 reading of 45.2. This is above the 41.5 index from May 2018.