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Beer - US - December 2013

“Undoubtedly, the biggest competitive threat to beer brands is the likelihood that drinkers will opt for wine or spirits instead of beer. This presents beer brands with a challenge to attract drinkers who may otherwise select a different type of alcohol. Doing so will, in part, entail taking a few pages from wine and liquor marketers to better appeal to the most likely wine and spirit drinkers: younger consumers.”

– John N. Frank, Category Manager, Food & Drink

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Can beer brands win over young drinkers opting for wine and liquor?
  • How can premium brands capture the momentum of craft brands?
  • Is the craft beer segment a bubble headed for a pop?

The US beer market faces slow volume sales growth and only moderate dollar sales growth in 2013, flattened by competition from wine and liquor brands and a post-recession slow economy. Although an entire generation of enthusiastic drinkers—Millennials—is on the cusp of drinking age, other large demographics—Boomers and seniors—are growing older and decreasing their drinking frequency and volume. This report focuses on these factors, as well as the following:

  • how age, gender, race, and household income help drive sales
  • the negative impact of the health implications of alcohol, including obesity
  • the dominance of domestic beer over imported
  • how craft beer is influencing ingredients, brewing, and marketing of other types of beer
  • how off-premise sales far outweigh on-premise sales
  • marketing strategies of major beer brands

This report also features analysis of Mintel’s exclusive consumer research, including changes in drinking consumption, reasons for drinking less, important factors in beer selection, attitudes and behaviors surrounding beer, and how race/Hispanic origin impact the market. This report also features analysis of the Simmons Consumer Studies, with attention to consumption of various types of beer, consumption frequency, and brand usage.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Domestic beer refers to all beer from suppliers that began producing beer as a domestic institution, regardless of whether the company is owned by a foreign corporation or beer is bottled outside of the US. While it will be analyzed as part of the overall domestic beer market, the craft or microbrew beer and corporate-owned craft-style beer segment of the domestic beer market is covered by Mintel in Craft Beer—US, November 2012 and will be looked at separately again in Craft Beer—US, June 2014.

Imported beer refers to all beer from suppliers that began producing the brand outside of the US, regardless of which parent company owns the brand or whether the beer is bottled in the US.

This report includes domestic beer purchased for at-home (“off-premise”) consumption (products sold primarily in cans and bottles) and “on-premise” consumption in bars, clubs, and restaurants. However, the primary focus of this report is off-premise beer sales and consumption.

The report covers:

  • light beer
  • premium beer
  • popular beer
  • super-premium and craft beer
  • ice beer
  • malt liquor, which is a type of beer with high alcohol content more than or equal to 5% ABV (alcohol by volume)
  • imported beer.

While mentioned/discussed, excluded from the main scope of this report is the hard cider segment, as well as the flavored malt beverages segment. Also excluded from this report are no- or low-alcohol beer and products brewed at home from kits or ingredients.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • A flat market in search of fizz
                      • Figure 1: Total US dollar sales and fan chart forecast of beer, at current prices, 2008-18
                      • Figure 2: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of beer, in millions of 2.25-gallon cases, at current prices, 2008-18
                    • Demographics drive sales
                      • Domestic volume sales far outweigh imported volume sales
                        • Off-premise accounts for 76% of volume sales
                          • Key players
                            • The consumer
                              • Respondents more likely to report drinking wine or spirits than beer
                                • Figure 3: Any consumption, alcoholic beverages, September 2013
                              • Consumers looking for mid-tier prices, light beer, standard alcohol content
                                • Figure 4: Attributes influencing beer choices, September 2013
                              • Respondents are very likely to drink different alcoholic drinks on different occasions
                                • Figure 5: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, September 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                  • Can beer brands win over young drinkers opting for wine and liquor?
                                    • The issues
                                      • Insights: Take marketing cues from the competition
                                        • How can premium brands capture the momentum of craft brands?
                                          • Issues
                                            • Insights: Go with small-batch, special occasions and new flavors
                                              • Is the craft beer segment a bubble headed for a pop?
                                                • Issues
                                                  • Insights: Focus on quality, a shake-out is coming
                                                  • Trend Applications

                                                      • Trend: Many Mes
                                                        • Trend: Prove It
                                                          • Mintel Futures: Human
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Small gains in 2012 and 2013 after declines between 2008 and 2011
                                                                • Volume sales forecast to grow slowly into 2018
                                                                  • Volume sales and forecast of beer
                                                                    • Figure 6: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer, 2008-18
                                                                  • Sales and forecast of beer
                                                                    • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                    • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of beer, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 9: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast of beer, in millions of 2.25-gallon cases, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                      • Figure 10: Total US dollar sales and fan chart forecast of beer, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Respondents aged 22-54 most apt to drink beer
                                                                        • Figure 11: Adult consumption of light/low-calorie, imported, or domestic beer, by age, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                      • Men remain the primary target for advertisers
                                                                        • Figure 12: Adult consumption of light/low-calorie, imported, or domestic beer, by gender, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                      • Racial demographics drive sales of specific segments
                                                                        • Figure 13: Adult consumption of light/low-calorie, imported, or domestic beer, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                      • Higher household income means higher consumption
                                                                        • Figure 14: Adult consumption of light/low-calorie, imported, or domestic beer, by household income, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                      • High calorie count, unhealthy halo cause many to scale back consumption
                                                                        • Figure 15: Reasons for drinking less beer, hard cider, or malt liquor, September 2013
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Wine and spirits markets keep pace with beer market
                                                                          • Figure 16: Reasons for drinking less beer, hard cider, or malt liquor, September 2013
                                                                        • Innovations in wine packaging and marketing
                                                                          • Spirits brands employ hybrid products to appeal to cross-category drinkers
                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Domestic far outsells imported, but grows more slowly
                                                                                • Imported beers capitalize on demand for premium, prestige brands
                                                                                  • Domestic set to increase 0.5% in 2014; imported will grow by 1.4%
                                                                                    • Volume sales of beer, by segment
                                                                                      • Figure 17: US volume sales of beer, segmented by type, 2008-18
                                                                                  • Segment Performance – Domestic Beer

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Domestic volume sales grow fractionally in 2013
                                                                                        • Volume sales and forecast of domestic beer
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Total US volume sales and forecast of domestic beer, 2008-18
                                                                                        • Light beer leads domestic segments by volume
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Total US volume sales of domestic beer, by type, 2008-13
                                                                                          • Light beer has highest consumption frequency; malt liquor has lowest
                                                                                            • Figure 20: Adult volume consumption of light or low-calorie beer, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 21: Adult volume consumption of regular domestic beer, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Adult volume consumption of microbrewed beer, by gender, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Adult volume consumption of malt liquor, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                          • Craft beer/microbrew consumption frequency increases
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Adult volume consumption of microbrewed beer, April 2008-June 2013
                                                                                        • Segment Performance – Imported Beer

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Slight volume sales gains as consumers look for wider selection
                                                                                              • Volume sales and forecast of imported beer
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Total US volume sales and forecast of imported beer, 2008-18
                                                                                            • Retail Channels

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Off-premise comprises three quarters share
                                                                                                  • Retail focus: craft beer
                                                                                                    • On-premise outpaced by off-premise
                                                                                                      • Volume sales of beer, by channel
                                                                                                        • Figure 26: US volume sales of beer, by channel, 2008-13
                                                                                                      • Imported beer has most menu incidence, domestic close behind
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Top menu items of beer, Q3 2012-Q3 2013
                                                                                                      • Domestic beer menu incidence jumps at quick serves and fast casuals
                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Domestic beer growth, by restaurant segment, Q3 2012-Q3 2013
                                                                                                    • Leading Companies

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Bud Light leads the entire market but drops 1.4% in volume sales
                                                                                                          • Coors Light improves volume sales by 2% in 2012
                                                                                                            • Corona Extra tops imported brands by volume sales
                                                                                                              • Top 20 beer brands by volume sales
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Top 20 beer brands, 2011-12
                                                                                                            • Brand Share – Domestic Beer

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Premium, craft-style brands gain big
                                                                                                                  • PBR rides a wave of retro nostalgia
                                                                                                                    • Top 20 domestic beer brands by volume sales
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Top 20 domestic beer brands, 2011-12
                                                                                                                  • Brand Share – Imported Beer

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Modelo Especial, Dos Equis, Stella Artois register highest volume growth
                                                                                                                        • Newcastle Brown Ale increases 7.9% with No Bollocks campaign
                                                                                                                          • Top 11 imported beer brands by volume sales
                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Top 11 imported beer brands, 2011-12
                                                                                                                        • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                          • Seasonal, limited-edition, premium product claims grow rapidly
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Top 10 beer product claims, 2008-13
                                                                                                                          • Seasonal brews
                                                                                                                            • Special-edition releases
                                                                                                                              • Flavored brews add spice to the market
                                                                                                                              • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Beer advertising expenditures by media, 2011-12
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Advertising expenditures by top 10 beer brands, 2011-12
                                                                                                                                  • The impact of digital presence
                                                                                                                                    • Theme: Sports fans love beer
                                                                                                                                      • TV spots: Bud Light
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Bud Light television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Bud Light television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Bud Light television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Theme: The life of the party
                                                                                                                                        • TV spots: Miller Lite
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Miller Lite television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Miller Lite television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                        • TV spot: Bud Light Platinum
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Bud Light Platinum television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Theme: Celebrity spokespersons
                                                                                                                                          • TV spots: Coors Light
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Coors Light television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Coors Light television ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                          • TV spot: Budweiser
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Budweiser television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Changes in Alcoholic Beverage Consumption

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Respondents likely to be drinking more wine and spirits than beer
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Changes in alcoholic beverage consumption, September 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Men more likely to drink beer, wine, and spirits
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                            • 22-34s report much more likelihood to drink than older respondents
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Less than $50K report lowest consumption
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Beer drinkers predisposed to also drink wine, spirits
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by any consumption of alcoholic beverages, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by any consumption of alcoholic beverages, September 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Drinking Less Beer, Hard Cider, Malt Liquor

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Calories, price, drinking wine/liquor contribute to less beer consumption
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Reasons for drinking less beer, hard cider, or malt liquor, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Women most apt to cite drinking wine instead
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Drinking less domestic and imported beer, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Less than $75K drinking less imported beer because it is too expensive
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Drinking less imported beer, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Attributes Influencing Beer and/or Malt Liquor Choices – Promotions, Types, Brand Awareness

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Low price important for all beer types
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Attributes influencing selection of beer and/or malt liquor choices, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • 22-34s most likely to look for low-priced domestic beer
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Attributes influencing selection of domestic beer, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • 22-34s look to happy hours to influence their selection of imported beer
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Attributes influencing selection of imported beer, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Imported beer style matters most to $50K+
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Attributes influencing selection of imported beer, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • $150K+ most likely to say beer style important when selecting craft beer
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Attributes influencing selection of craft beer, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Attributes Influencing Beer Choices – Alcohol Content, Calorie Content, Price Level

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Roughly four in 10 look for light beer; women most
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attributes influencing beer choices, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Seniors most apt to choose light beer
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Attributes influencing beer choices, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • $150K+ most apt to select regular, standard alcohol content
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Attributes influencing beer choices, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Beer, Hard Cider, and Malt Liquor

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • More than six in 10 use different types of alcohol for different occasions
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Women more apt to go for variety based on drinking occasion
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • 22-34s most likely to try new alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • $150K+ most likely to enjoy different drinks for different occasions
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics report highest overall consumption of liquor, wine, beer
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics most likely to look for coupons for domestic beer
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Attributes influencing selection of domestic beer, by Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics say happy hours, variety packs are important when choosing imported beer
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Attributes influencing selection of imported beer, by Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics less likely than non-Hispanics to express opinions about craft beer
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Attributes influencing selection of craft beer, by Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics most likely to drink different beverages per occasion
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                          • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: US unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: US unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Number of employed civilians in US, in thousands, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                          • Food cost pressures
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Changes in USDA Food Price Indexes, 2011-14
                                                                                                                                                          • Obesity
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: American adults, by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-October 28, 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Childhood and teen obesity—highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: US population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2008, 2013, and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Shifting US demographics
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: US population, by age, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: US households, by presence of own children, 2002-12
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                              • Changes in alcoholic beverage consumption
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by gender and age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Any consumption of alcoholic beverages, by presence of children in household, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for drinking less beer, hard cider, or malt liquor
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Drinking less imported beer, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Drinking less domestic and imported beer, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Attributes influencing beer and/or malt liquor choices: promotions, types, brand awareness
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Attributes influencing selection of domestic beer, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Attributes influencing selection of domestic beer, by household income, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Attributes influencing selection of imported beer, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Attributes influencing selection of craft beer, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Attributes influencing selection of craft beer, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Attributes influencing selection of malt liquor, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Agreement with attitudes and behaviors toward beer, hard cider, and malt liquor, by presence of children in household, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Drinking less domestic beer, by Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Attributes influencing beer choices, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for drinking hard cider
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Reasons for drinking hard cider, by gender, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Reasons for drinking hard cider, by age, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                • D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                • Heineken USA Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                • InBev USA
                                                                                                                                                                • MillerCoors LLC
                                                                                                                                                                • Modelo
                                                                                                                                                                • Pabst Brewing Company

                                                                                                                                                                Beer - US - December 2013

                                                                                                                                                                £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)