Last week, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for March 2022. For a third month, the beer industry has continued to revert to pre-pandemic trends. The March 2022 BPI has a “total beer” reading of 52 and an “at-risk” inventory reading of 56. Both numbers are reminiscent of the days when inventories were a little too high, and purchase order index was typically at or below 50. The March 2022 total beer reading of 52 is about average for this time of year with slightly more ordering ahead of spring holiday beer occasions.
The dramatic drop in the FMB/seltzer BPI continues, falling to 42 in March 2022 from 85 in March 2021. The import segment was the only segment to report a significant expansionary index in March with the premium lights index slightly above 50.
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 March:
- The index for imports continues to remain in expansion territory with a reading of 67 in March 2022, slightly higher than the March 2021 reading of 60.
- The craft index at 47 is close to matching last March’s reading of 46.
- The premium lights index posted a higher reading of 51, above the March 2021 reading of 44.
- The premium regular segment index is at 39, which is slightly below the March 2021 reading of 38.
- The below premium segment is at 41, which is slightly above the March 2021 reading of 37.
- The FMB/seltzer category took another big hit, falling to 42 in March 2022 from the March 2021 reading of 85.
- Finally, the cider segment remains below 50 with a reading of 36 in March 2022, compared to the March 2021 reading of 36.