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Beer - US - January 2016

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 named by the Beverage Information & Insight Group in its 2015 Beer Handbook:

  • Light beer (including low-calorie brands such as Miller 64 and Bud Select 55)
  • Imported beer (including imported light beer brands)
  • 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)
  • 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

* “True-craft” beer refers to artisan-style beers, typically associated with small, independent local or regional brewers. Based on the definition developed by the Brewers Association, true-craft brands must meet specific criteria pertaining to annual production volume (less than 6 million barrels), ownership (less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer), and beer type/production (that is deemed traditional or innovative).

The styles and positioning characterized by true-craft beer also have been acquired and/or adopted by larger brewing corporations including Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, which Mintel has included in this report, referred to as “mass-craft” beer.

Both true- and mass-craft brands contribute to the overall market size of this report. Where possible, Mintel discusses true-craft and mass-craft beer brands and products independently.

In addition to beer, there are data tables and analyses for the hard cider segment in this report. Non-alcoholic beer is also discussed to a small extent but sales figures aren’t tabulated on their own for this segment.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Volume sales of beer declined 2% from 2010-15
            • Figure 1: US dollar and volume sales of beer, at current prices, 2010-15
          • Light beer maintains largest share, but slipping
            • Figure 2: Share of US volume sales of beer, by segment, 2010 and 2015 (est)
          • Leading domestic brands stall
            • Figure 3: Share change of MULO sales of domestic beer/ale, by leading brands, 52 weeks ending Oct. 4, 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Flavored beer launches grow
              • Figure 4: Beer launches, by flavor, 2010 and 2015
            • Imports see strong activity
              • Figure 5: Types of beer consumed, October 2015
            • Craft continues to thrive
              • Figure 6: Innovation of interest, October 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Dollar sales of beer grow 21% 2010-15, while volume sales decline
                • Beer leads alcohol consumption
                  • US brewery count reaches all-time high in 2015
                    • Light beer maintains the largest share, but this is slipping
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Dollar sales of beer grow 21% 2010-15, while volume sales decline
                        • Figure 7: US sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2010-20
                        • Figure 8: US sales and forecast of beer, at current prices, 2010-20
                        • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of beer, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                        • Figure 10: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer, 2010-20
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • The beer category is going through a major overhaul
                        • Figure 11: Share of total US volume sales of beer, by segment, 2010 and 2015 (est)
                      • Off-premise sales dwarf on-premise
                        • Figure 12: US volume sales of beer, by channel 2010 and 2014
                        • Figure 13: Consumption location, October 2015
                      • On-premise beer may be seen as expensive
                        • Figure 14: Locations for drinking beer, by household income, October 2015
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Beer leads alcohol consumption
                        • Figure 15: Alcohol consumption – Any drink*, October 2015
                        • Figure 16: Alcohol consumption – Most often drink, October 2015
                    • Market Factors

                      • Alcohol sales continue to rise; patterns favor a growth in on-premise consumption
                        • Figure 17: Total expenditures on alcoholic beverages, 2000-13
                      • US brewery count reaches all-time high in 2015
                        • The majority of drinkers do so for relaxation
                          • Figure 18: “Born in the Rockies: Place,” online video, June 2015
                          • Figure 19: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, October 2015
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • AB InBev, SABMiller continue to dominate as major brands stagnate
                          • Imports see strong activity
                            • Cider brands show strong growth
                              • Flavored beer launches grow
                              • Manufacturer Sales of Beer

                                • AB InBev and SABMiller continue to dominate
                                  • Manufacturer sales of beer
                                    • Figure 20: MULO sales of beer and cider, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Imports see positive growth
                                      • Figure 21: MULO sales of imported beer/ale, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                    • Craft still growing
                                      • Cider sales grow fivefold 2010-15
                                        • Figure 22: US volume sales of hard cider (2.25-gallons cases), 2010-20
                                        • Figure 23: MULO sales of cider, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                      • Flavored beer launches grow
                                          • Figure 24: Beer launches, by flavor, 2010 and 2015
                                        • Limited edition launches grow from 2010-15
                                          • Figure 25: Beer launches, by leading claims, 2010-15*
                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                        • Leading domestic brands stall at MULO
                                          • Struggling leaders make a play for heritage positioning
                                            • Figure 26: “Coors Stubby Bottle – Taste,” online video, February 2015
                                            • Figure 27: MULO sales of domestic beer/ale, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                          • Why is light beer struggling if people are concerned about calories?
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Beer blurring can grow appeal among drinkers of other alcoholic beverages
                                              • Being clear about nutritional information
                                                • Craft adoption diversifies big brand offerings, falls in closer line with consumer interest
                                                  • Smaller formats may suggest quality, appeal to Millennials
                                                    • Creating and catering to a savvy consumer
                                                      • Figure 28: “The Battle (30 seconds),” online video, November 2015
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Men, Millennials, and Hispanics remain key beer targets
                                                      • Light beer leads consumption, but motivations vary
                                                        • A higher percentage of consumers drink imported beer than domestic
                                                          • 28% of consumers are drinking more beer than a year ago
                                                            • Beer leads for drinkability and affordability
                                                              • Fresh and local finds appeal
                                                              • Motivations for Drinking Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                • Beer drinkers like the taste of alcohol and look for fun/refreshment
                                                                  • Figure 29: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, by alcohol type 1 of 2, October 2015
                                                                  • Figure 30: Key drivers of beer (eg alcohol and non-alcohol) consumption, October 2015
                                                                • Cider drinkers are interested in boosting mood, reward, variety, socializing
                                                                  • Figure 31: “The Simple Life | Stella Artois | Cidre,” online video, April 2015
                                                                  • Figure 32: Key drivers of hard cider consumption, October 2015
                                                                • Boomers look to relax
                                                                  • Figure 33: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, by generation, October 2015
                                                                • Women are more likely than men to drink for relaxation/indulgence
                                                                  • Figure 34: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, by gender, October 2015
                                                                • Less than half of Hispanics drink for the taste of alcohol
                                                                  • Figure 35: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                • Food pairing appeals to higher earners
                                                                  • Figure 36: Motivations for drinking alcoholic beverages, by household income, October 2015
                                                              • Beer Consumption

                                                                • Men are twice as likely as women to drink beer
                                                                  • Figure 37: Beer consumption*, by gender, October 2015
                                                                • The gender gap narrows slightly among younger consumers
                                                                  • Figure 38: Beer consumption, by gender and age, October 2015
                                                                • Millennials and Gen Xers lead consumption
                                                                  • Figure 39: Beer consumption, by generation, October 2015
                                                                • Higher earners are more likely to drink beer, but not as their primary drink
                                                                  • Figure 40: Beer consumption, by household income, October 2015
                                                                • Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to drink beer
                                                                  • Figure 41: Beer consumption, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                              • Types of Beer Consumed

                                                                • A larger percentage of consumers drink imported beer than domestic
                                                                  • Figure 42: Types of beer consumed, October 2015
                                                                • Flavored varieties find greater appeal among women
                                                                  • Figure 43: Types of beer consumed, by gender, October 2015
                                                                • Age plays a stronger role than gender in interest in flavored beer
                                                                  • Figure 44: Types of beer consumed, by gender and age, October 2015
                                                                • Millennials open to variety
                                                                  • Figure 45: Types of beer consumed, by generation, October 2015
                                                                • Light beer appeals to older women
                                                                  • Figure 46: Types of beer consumed, by gender and age, October 2015
                                                                • Half of Hispanics drink imported beer
                                                                  • Figure 47: Types of beer consumed, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                • Hispanic Millennials are particularly drawn to imports
                                                                  • Figure 48: Types of beer consumed, by Hispanic origin and Millennials, October 2015
                                                                • Light beer appeals to those who drink for fun
                                                                  • Figure 49: Types of beer consumed, by motivations for drinking, October 2015
                                                                • Flavored and craft beer most likely consumed away from home
                                                                  • Figure 50: Types of beer consumed, by consumption location, October 2015
                                                              • Change in Beer Consumption

                                                                • 28% of consumers are drinking more beer than a year ago
                                                                  • Figure 51: Change in beer consumption – Amount, October 2015
                                                                • More than half of young men are drinking more beer in the past year
                                                                  • Figure 52: Change in beer consumption – Amount, by gender and age, October 2015
                                                                • Hispanics are increasing their beer consumption
                                                                  • Figure 53: Change in beer consumption – Amount, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                • Hard sodas may be helping category gain users
                                                                  • Figure 54: Change in beer consumption – Amount, by type of alcohol consumed, October 2015
                                                                • A quarter of beer drinkers are drinking different kinds of beer than before
                                                                  • Figure 55: Change in beer consumption – Type, October 2015
                                                                  • Figure 56: Change in beer consumption – Drinking different kinds of beer, by gender, October 2015
                                                                • Craft and flavored varieties contribute to increased consumption
                                                                  • Figure 57: Reasons for drinking more beer, October 2015
                                                                • Flavor innovation appears as a stronger driver than craft among Millennials
                                                                  • Figure 58: Reasons for drinking more beer – Males 22-34, October 2015
                                                                • Half of consumers are drinking less beer for health; half are turning to other alcohol types
                                                                  • Figure 59: Reasons for drinking less beer, October 2015
                                                              • Opinions toward Alcoholic Beverages

                                                                • Beer leads for affordability and drinkability, but lags for sophistication and quality
                                                                  • Figure 60: Correspondence Analysis – Perceptions of alcoholic drink types, October 2015
                                                                  • Figure 61: Perceptions of types of alcoholic drinks, October 2015
                                                                • Cider struggles with health
                                                                  • Beer is less likely to appeal for taste/sophistication among women
                                                                    • Figure 62: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types – Beer, by gender, October 2015
                                                                    • Figure 63: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types – Women, by alcoholic drink type, October 2015
                                                                  • Millennials are most likely to associate beer with quality/sophistication
                                                                    • Figure 64: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types, by generation, October 2015
                                                                  • Beer can be an attractive point of entry for newer drinkers
                                                                    • Figure 65: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types – Millennials, by alcoholic drink type, October 2015
                                                                  • Encouraging drinking with others will be important among Hispanics
                                                                    • Figure 66: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                    • Figure 67: Opinions toward alcoholic drink types – Hispanics, by alcoholic drink type, October 2015
                                                                • Innovation of Interest

                                                                  • Fresh and local finds appeal
                                                                    • Figure 68: Innovation of interest, October 2015
                                                                  • Beer drinkers don’t appear willing to pay more for innovation
                                                                    • Figure 69: Innovation of interest – Beer drinkers, by willingness to pay more, October 2015
                                                                  • Flavor innovation appeals to beer nondrinkers
                                                                    • Figure 70: Innovation of interest, by beer consumption, October 2015
                                                                  • Innovation appeals more directly to men, but can be a clue to attracting women
                                                                    • Figure 71: Innovation of interest, by gender, October 2015
                                                                  • Men are most willing to pay more for limited editions and higher abv
                                                                    • Figure 72: Innovation of interest – Men, by willingness to pay more, October 2015
                                                                  • Millennials are highly receptive to innovation
                                                                    • Figure 73: Innovation of interest, by generation, October 2015
                                                                  • …and show a greater willingness to pay more for it
                                                                    • Figure 74: Innovation of interest – Millennials, by willingness to pay more, October 2015
                                                                  • Innovation also appeals to Hispanics
                                                                    • Figure 75: Innovation of interest, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                            • Key driver analysis methodology
                                                                              • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                      • Figure 76: US volume sales of light beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 77: US volume sales of super-premium and premium beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 78: US volume sales of imported beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 79: US volume sales of craft beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 80: US volume sales of popular beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 81: US volume sales of ice beer, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 82: US volume sales of malt liquor, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 83: US volume sales of hard cider, 2010-20
                                                                                      • Figure 84: Share of alcoholic beverage launches, by alcoholic beverage type, 2010-15*
                                                                                      • Figure 85: US volume sales of beer, by channel, 2010-14
                                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                      • Figure 86: Beer launches, by flavor, 2010-15*
                                                                                      • Figure 87: Beer launches, by leading claims, 2010-15*
                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                    • Interpretation of results
                                                                                        • Figure 88: Key drivers of beer (eg alcohol and non-alcohol) consumption, October 2015
                                                                                        • Figure 89: Key drivers of hard cider consumption, October 2015

                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                    • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                    Beer - US - January 2016

                                                                                    £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)