The May Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) rose above the benchmark (50) to 52 while the At Risk Inventory (ARI) measure also increased above the benchmark (50) to 61. The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) says this combination of at-risk inventory and expected beer orders is out of the industry’s “comfort zone,” as the industry typically does not willingly increase beer orders while sitting on too much inventory.
The NBWA’s 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 index for imports continues to point to expanding volumes with a reading of 75, four points higher than the May 2022 reading of 71.
- The craft index at 39 continues to signal segment contraction but is slightly above the May 2022 reading of 37.
- The premium lights index posted a reading of 49, slightly higher than the May 2022 reading of 48.
- The premium regular segment index is at 43, above the May 2022 reading of 37.
- The below premium segment reading of 50 is well above the May 2022 reading of 40 and continues a trend close to the expanding (above 50) territory.
- The FMB/seltzer reading fell to 26 in May and significantly lower than the May 2022 reading of 37.
- Finally, the cider segment posted a May reading of 31 compared to 29 in May 2022.