The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) recently released its Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for July 2021. The recent BPI looks at data relative to July 2020, a month that experienced widespread economic shutdowns, on-premise closures and the over-indexed segments that took a hit in those channels. Overall, the July 2021 index of 64 fell 7 points below last July’s index of 71 but trends within a reasonable range compared to index readings from the past seven years.
The “at-risk” inventory index at 35 (inventory at risk of going out of code in the next 30 days) is still well below 50, signaling continued supply constraints and out-of-stocks in distribution. A significant directional shift was shown in the FMB/seltzer segment with a 25 point drop, decreasing from a reading of 94 in July 2020 to 69 in July 2021. The “at-risk” inventory measures for FMB/seltzers repeated last month’s outcome with an “at-risk” inventory index above all other segments in the industry. Note, the FMB/seltzer segment is still expanding and growing, as indicated by the above 50 reading.
NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones explained, “The lower index relative to July 2020 indicates that more distributors are reporting they are ordering ‘about the same’ amount of product as the same time last year. This is not a big surprise as the segment has experienced significant amounts of distribution growth over the past 12 months.”
About NBWA’s Beer Purchasers’ Index: 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 July: The index for imports continued into expansion territory with a reading of 66 in July 2021, well above the above the 59 reading from July 2020.
- The craft index posted a reading of 50 for July 2021 compared to a contracting reading of 41 in July 2020. This is the fourth monthly reading at or above 50 for the craft segment.
- The premium lights segment posted a reading of 56, well below the July 2020 reading of 71.
- The regular domestic beer segment index at 40 is significantly below the July 2020 reading of 57.
- The below premium segment at 30, took another significant hit year-over-year from last July’s reading of 57.
- The FMB/seltzer index continues to make big news for July. This segment took another big hit falling 25 points from 94 in July 2020 to 69 in July 2021.
- The cider segment remains below 50 with a reading of 38 in July 2021 compared to 37 in July 2020.
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