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Beer - US - January 2015

“While beer is still a significant part of consumers’ drinking repertoire, Big beer needs to embrace the full food/drink expectations and behaviors of their key Millennial audience as they drive the rest of US consumers toward the same: ingredient scrutiny, quest for food/drink experiences, appreciation of brand and product stories, desire for quality, adventuresome palates and a return to return to cooking for health/taste reasons. Craft beer has found a relevant place with younger adults by ticking almost all of these boxes. But even regular beer drinkers are looking for flavor to halt beer boredom. With consumers drinking overall less often, with less frequency, and with many more choices, beer manufacturers may need to adjust their growth strategies toward quality versus quantity in order to be relevant for the near future.”
– Amy Kraushaar, US Category Manager Food and Drink, Foodservice

This report answers the following questions:

  • Should big beer become more transparent?
  • Should big beer target Millennials via the beer-food connection?
  • Is beer’s demise as bad as it sounds?
Roughly half of adults drink beer, and this figure hasn’t changed much in five years. But since 2009 “big beer’s” giants, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, have seen fortunes decline further, especially with their core light and domestic beer business. While companies have exploited their premium and craft beer offerings to some success, today’s consumers, especially Millennials, are also gravitating toward wine and spirits.

Today’s beer consumers crave greater label transparency (ingredient disclosure), flavor/type innovation beyond basic lager, and more resealable packaging options. The beer market must listen and adapt to slow declines or risk more of the same, or worse, in the next five years.

This report includes volume and value sales data for domestic and imported beer for home (off-premise) and on-premise consumption. However, most discussion and analyses are centered on off-premise beer consumption and purchase behavior.

The report covers the following beer segments. In terms of volume sales, these segments are ranked in order of volume sales, and named by the Beverage Information & Insight Group in its Beer Handbook 2014:

  • Light beer (including low-calorie brands such as Miller 64 and Bud Select 55)
  • Super-premium and premium beer (such as Budweiser’s Black Crown or Leinenkugel’s, as well as “mass-craft”* brands like Blue Moon and Shock Top)
  • Imported beer (including imported light beer brands)
  • Craft beer (such as Lagunitas, Boston Beer Co., and Sierra Nevada, which are also referred to as “true-craft”* in this report)
  • Popular beer (such as Budweiser, Busch, and Miller. Also referred to as regular domestic beer in this report)
  • Ice beer (such as Natural Ice or Icehouse)
  • Malt liquor

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                      • The $97 billion beer market’s volume shrinks further
                        • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Market drivers
                        • Companies, Brands, and Innovation
                          • Figure 2: MULO sales ($ millions) of beer and cider, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending Oct. 6, 2013 and Oct. 5, 2014
                        • The consumer
                          • Figure 3: Beer consumption by type, September 2014
                          • Figure 4: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, September 2014
                          • Figure 5: Beer consumption attitudes (consumption and flavor), September 2014
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • Should big beer become more transparent?
                              • Issues
                                • Insights
                                  • Should big beer target Millennials via the beer-food connection?
                                    • Issue
                                      • Insight
                                        • Is beer’s demise as bad as it sounds?
                                          • Issue
                                            • Insight
                                                • Figure 6: Alcoholic beverage purchases, by generations – any consumption, February 2014
                                                • Figure 7: Trended alcohol consumption (# of drinks), by type, April 2009-June 2014
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Trend: Non-Standard Society
                                                  • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                    • Trend: Experience Is All
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Improving economy may lead to shifts with off- and on-premise consumption
                                                          • Figure 8: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2011-November 2014*
                                                          • Figure 9: Disposable personal income, January 2011-October 2014*
                                                          • Figure 10: Consumer confidence, January 2012-November 2014*
                                                        • Estimated Hispanic population growth could slow beer’s decline a bit
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Beer volumes down, dollar sales incrementally increase
                                                                • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Figure 12: US volume sales and forecast of beer, 2009-18
                                                                • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Figure 14: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Imports and craft brands bright spots in a declining market
                                                                    • Figure 15: US volume sales of beer, by type, 2009, 2014, 2018
                                                                    • Figure 16: US volume sales of light beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 17: US volume sales of super-premium and premium beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 18: US volume sales of imported beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 19: US volume sales of craft beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 20: US volume sales of popular beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 21: US volume sales of ice beer, 2009-18
                                                                    • Figure 22: US volume sales of malt liquor beer, 2009-18
                                                                  • Hard cider rapidly gaining ground
                                                                    • Figure 23: US volume sales of hard cider, 2010-14
                                                                • Sales Channels

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Off-premise beer consumption gains some ground during 2009-14
                                                                      • Figure 24: US volume sales of beer, by channel, 2009-14
                                                                    • Craft/premium beer’s star is rising in retail, but big beer is getting lost in the shuffle
                                                                    • Leading Companies and Brand Analysis

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Two giants losing market share
                                                                            • AB-InBev
                                                                              • MillerCoors
                                                                                • Constellation Brands Inc.
                                                                                  • Heineken USA Inc.
                                                                                    • Boston Beer Co.
                                                                                      • Other brands and cider
                                                                                        • Figure 25: MULO sales of beer and cider, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending Oct. 6, 2013 and Oct. 5, 2014
                                                                                        • Figure 26: MULO sales of beer, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending Oct. 6, 2013 and Oct. 5, 2014
                                                                                        • Figure 27: MULO sales of cider, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending Oct. 6, 2013 and Oct. 5, 2014
                                                                                    • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Craft brands driving innovation numbers in recent years
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Beer launches, by leading companies, 2010-14*
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Beer launches, by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                          • Figure 30: Beer launches, by top launch types and packaging, 2010-14*
                                                                                        • Middle ground between basic lager and craft flavors bears examination
                                                                                          • Other recent innovations and marketing of note
                                                                                            • Budweiser centers on younger adults with a host of advertising angles
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Budweiser Global Be(er) Responsible Day; “Friends Are Waiting” TV ad, September 2014
                                                                                            • Miller Fortune targets “middle premiums”
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Better (Miller Fortune) TV ad, March 2014
                                                                                          • Social Media

                                                                                              • Key findings
                                                                                                • Market overview
                                                                                                  • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Key social media metrics, December 2014
                                                                                                  • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Brand usage and awareness for select beer brands, Oct. 2014
                                                                                                  • Interactions with beer brands
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Interaction levels for select beer brands, Oct. 2014
                                                                                                  • Leading online campaigns
                                                                                                    • Sporting events
                                                                                                      • Lifestyle marketing
                                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                                          • Online conversations
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Online mentions for select beer brands, by week, Dec. 22, 2013-Dec. 21, 2014
                                                                                                          • Where are people talking about beer online?
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Online mentions for select beer brands, by week, Dec. 22, 2013-Dec. 21, 2014
                                                                                                          • What are people talking about online?
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Topics of conversation for select beer brands, Dec. 22, 2013-Dec. 21, 2014
                                                                                                        • Beer Consumption by Type

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Beer usage continues to favor men
                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Beer consumption by type, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                              • Youthful drinkers are still core beer drinking group
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Beer consumption by type, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                • Affluents lead the pack with beer consumption
                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Beer consumption by type, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                • Beer usage by volume and type
                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Trended beer consumption, by type, April 2009-June 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Trended beer consumption frequency (mean # of drinks), by type, April 2009-June 2014
                                                                                                                  • Men continue downing considerably more beer than women
                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Beer consumption frequency (mean # of drinks), by type, by gender, April-June 2014
                                                                                                                  • Despite market concerns, 21-34s are heaviest beer drinkers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Beer consumption frequency (mean # of drinks), by type, by age, April-June 2014
                                                                                                                  • Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                • Interest in Beer Types and Packaging

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Seasonal, fruit-flavored, and beer-based cocktails have appeal
                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Interest in types and packaging, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Women want beer-based cocktails; men find higher ABV appealing
                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Interest in types and packaging, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Adults 22-44 have tried, find more innovative beer types appealing
                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Interest in types and packaging, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Higher-income consumers have tried more beer types
                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Interest in types and packaging, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Packaging concepts with functional benefits win
                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Interest in types and packaging, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Mature adults less interested in new beer concepts
                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Interest in types and packaging, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Brand trumps flavor in 45+ purchase decision
                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: What matters with beer purchases, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Beer Innovation

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Higher ABV and light beer flavor variants could spark growth
                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Urbanites most interested in domestic/imported beer innovation
                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by area, September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Higher-income consumers have stronger interest in beer innovation
                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                      • Beer Consumption Activities

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Video media and meal-time go hand in hand with beer consumption
                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                                          • 35-44 drink beer while watching sports; 22-34 buy locally affiliated brands
                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                          • Urban beer drinkers OK consuming beer alone
                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by area, September 2014
                                                                                                                          • High-income consumers enjoy beer in a variety of ways
                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Beer Consumption Attitudes

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Beer needs a facelift inside and out; quality is most important
                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Beer consumption attitudes, September 2014
                                                                                                                              • Quality differences could help make brands more distinct
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Beer consumption attitudes, by age, September 2014
                                                                                                                              • Higher-income consumers prefer ingredient/label transparency, packaging advances
                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Beer consumption attitudes, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                            • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Blacks and Hispanics represent core beer consumer groups
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Beer consumption by type, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Beer consumption frequency (mean # of drinks), by type, by race/Hispanic origin, April-June 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Interest in types and packaging, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                  • Custom group definition
                                                                                                                                    • Beer Programmers
                                                                                                                                      • My Meal, My Beers
                                                                                                                                        • Beer Creatives
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer tables – by beer user behavior
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Beer consumption by type, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Why consumers haven’t recently tried mass-craft beer, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Interest in types and packaging, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Interest in types and packaging, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Domestic/Imported Beer consumption activities, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Beer consumption attitudes, by beer user behavior, September 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                          • Consumer data
                                                                                                                                            • Alcoholic beverage consumption locales
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Alcoholic beverage consumption locales – Beer, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Interest in types and packaging
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Interest in types and packaging, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Interest in types and packaging, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • What matters with beer purchases
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: What matters with beer purchases, by gender, September 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: What matters with beer purchases, by household income, September 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: What matters with beer purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Beer consumption attitudes
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Beer consumption attitudes, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Custom consumer groups
                                                                                                                                              • Craft-captivateds
                                                                                                                                                • Beer’s Just OKs
                                                                                                                                                  • Middle Of The Roads
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer tables – by beer consumption, by type
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Interest in types and packaging, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Interest in types and packaging, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: What matters with beer purchases, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Attributes that may increase domestic/imported beer usage, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Domestic/imported Beer consumption activities, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Beer consumption attitudes, by beer consumption by type, September 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Market and demographic data
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Population by generation, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Social Media – Beer

                                                                                                                                                    • Brand usage or awareness
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Brand usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Stella Artois usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Heineken usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Bud Light usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Coors Light usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Miller Lite usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Modelo Especial usage or awareness, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Activities done
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Activities done, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: Stella Artois – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: Stella Artois – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: Stella Artois – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 105: Heineken – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 106: Heineken – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 107: Heineken – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 108: Bud Light – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 109: Bud Light – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 110: Bud Light – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 111: Coors Light – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 112: Coors Light – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 113: Coors Light – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 114: Miller Lite – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 115: Miller Lite – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 116: Modelo Especial – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 117: Modelo Especial – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 118: Key social media metrics, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 119: Online mentions for select beer brands, by week, Dec. 22, 2013-Dec. 21, 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                    Beer - US - January 2015

                                                                                                                                                    £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)