As 2022 winds down, there is a pessimistic outlook among beer distributors, reports the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The group’s Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI), a forward-looking indicator that measures expected beer demand, sports a low reading of 38 in November, and the “at-risk” inventory index is relatively higher at 49.
If you’ve been following the BPI lately, you’ll notice these lower BPI readings and low “at-risk” inventory numbers are trend. The NBWA 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.
These recent “numbers are indicative of lower expected sales following fall price increases, news of increasing layoffs and a general slowing of the U.S. economy,” the NBWA says.
Here’s the mood across segments. You’ll want to avert your eyes from the craft number:
- The imports index continues to point to expanding volumes for this segment with a reading of 59 in November 2022. This is a lower reading relative to the November 2021 reading, which was 68.
- The craft index at 25 is well below the November 2021 reading of 47.
- The premium lights index posted a reading of 41 below the November 2021 reading of 54.
- The premium regular index at 30 is below the November 2021 reading of 38.
- The below premium index at 47 is significantly higher than the November 2021 reading of 29 and continues to be the only segment to report a higher reading over the 2021 indexes.
- The FMB/seltzer index continues to contract, falling to 16 in November 2022 from a November 2021 reading of 31.
- Finally, the cider index reports a November 2022 index of 28 compared to 32 in November 2021.