For the fourth month in a row in 2022, distributors report that the beer industry is reverting to pre-pandemic trends. The April 2022 Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) from the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) shows a “total beer” reading of 55 and an “at-risk” inventory reading of 47. This combination of readings is an improvement over the first three months (Q1) with “at-risk” inventories falling below 50 as the industry heads into the second quarter.
The dramatic drop in the FMB/seltzer category continues, falling to 40 in April 2022 from 90 in April 2021. Imports and premium lights both reported expansionary readings for the month. The craft beer index also took a hit this month.
The 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 April:
- The index for imports continues to remain in expansion territory with a reading of 70 in April 2022, only slightly below the April 2021 reading of 74.
- The craft index at 48 is significantly below last April’s reading of 64.
- The premium lights index posted a higher reading of 52, below the April 2021 reading of 69, but indicating expansionary volumes.
- The premium regular segment index is at 38, which is significantly below the April 2021 reading of 56.
The below premium segment is at 37, well below the April 2021 reading of 51.
- Finally, the cider segment remains below 50 with a reading of 33 in April 2022, compared to the April 2021 reading of 44.