Yesterday, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index for July 2018. 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. The July 2018 Beer Purchaser’s Index at 63 for total beer is significantly higher than July 2017 index at 50. This reading indicates a much higher level of beer orders placed by beer distributors compared to the same month last year.
Looking across the segments:
- The index for imports is slightly lower in July at 71 compared to 75 in July 2017.
- The July flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB) index at 68 is well above the 52 index from 2017 and marks the highest ever index reading for this segment. Hard seltzers are leading this segment.
- The craft index is slightly higher at 66 compared to last year’s index of 65.
- Premium lights, premium regulars and below premiums all posted higher readings compared to the same month last year; however, these segments are not showing significant signs of recovery in volumes.
- Cider finally took a breather from posting progressively higher monthly readings in 2018 by matching the last month’s index 46, but this index reading is significantly higher than the 2017 index at 19.
“After the year-over-year growth we observed in July, the August BPI could be telling of where industry volumes are going,” said NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones. “Hard seltzer continues to lead the FMB category, and this month’s FMB reading marks the highest ever index reading for this segment.”