The Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) continued to revert to pre-pandemic trends in February, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). 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.
The February 2022 BPI survey shows the total beer reading at 43 and “at-risk” inventory at 64, reminiscent of when inventories were too high, and order indexes were typically at or below 50. The February 2022 total beer reading of 43 stands out as one of the lowest over the past eight years. Following a solid comparative reading in 2021, expect 2022 index readings to show signs of weakness.
The dramatic drop in the FMB/seltzer BPI continues, falling to 34 in February 2022 from 95 in February 2021.
Meanwhile, readings for premium lights, regular premium, below premium and ciders fell below 50 for the month. The craft segment managed to break above 50 to hit 51. The import segment was the only segment to report a significant expansionary index in February. The “at-risk” inventory measures at 64. This is another high mark since May 2020. It is important to take note of the upward trend in “at-risk” inventories as supply-side challenges begin to resolve and inventories continue to build.
Looking across the segments for February:
- The index for imports continues in expansion territory with a reading of 69 in February 2022, significantly higher than the February 2021 reading of 52.
- The craft index at 51 matches last February’s reading of 51.
- The premium lights index posted a reading of 46, above the February 2021 reading of 38.
- The premium regular segment index at 32 is only slightly higher than the February 2021 reading of 27.
- The below premium segment at 30 dropped slightly below the February 2021 reading of 32.
- The FMB/seltzer took another big hit, falling to 34 in February 2022 from the February 2021 reading of 95.
- Finally, the cider segment remains below 50 with a reading of 33, similar to the reading of 33 in February 2021.