The National Beer Wholesalers Association‘s (NBWA) Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for August 2019 fell in August after a strong July, but still remained positive overall with a reading of 57.6 — stronger than August 2018’s reading of 54.4. The positive month was largely led by the continued success of flavored malt beverages, including hard seltzers, which posted a reading of 82.1. Craft beers contracted for the first time since October of last year.
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
- Repeating last months performance, the flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB) segment saw another significant increase over 2018 with an index reading of 82 compared to 69 in August 2018.
- The craft index dropped below 50 for the first time in 2019 with a reading of 49. The last time the craft index dipped below 50 was October 2018.
- The index for imports took a significant step down from 2018 highs, but remained in expansion territory with an index reading of 58 compared to the August 2018 reading of 68.
- Premium lights and below premiums posted slight increases over 2018 readings, while premium regulars fell by 1 point compared to August 2018. All three segments continue to struggle with below 50 index readings for 2019.
- The cider segment continues to show the most variability of any segment in the BPI, falling to 34. Cider orders continue to contract from peak readings in late 2018. This series will continue to play out as regional ciders brands compete aggressively against larger national cider brands.