2020
9
US Beer Market Report 2020
2020-12-02T03:02:36+00:00
OX987272
3695
128201
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Report
en_GB
“Beer is losing out to other alcohol categories on the measures of health, taste and even value for which it held a historical advantage. While the COVID-19 pandemic will lead…

US Beer Market Report 2020

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Beer – US market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Dollar sales of beer (off- and on-premise combined) are projected to dip 4% in 2020, the first overall drop in decades. Volume sales in the category had been experiencing slight year-over-year declines leading into 2020, with dollar sales buffered by higher price points garnered from the strong-performing craft segment as well as onpremise receipts. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted on-premise opportunity through channel closure, and physical distancing guidelines curtailed large social gatherings for which beer excels. Beyond the pandemic, beer’s dominance of alcohol sales and consumption is being challenged by consumers seeking health, flavor, value and excitement elsewhere.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Beth Bloom, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Beer is losing out to other alcohol categories on the measures of health, taste and even value for which it held a historical advantage. While the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to the first dollar declines in the category for some time, it will also allow beer players an opportunity to reset. Category players can use their marketing heft and wide reach to remind consumers of the long-standing, reliable and enjoyable experience of beer. Brands can emphasize value through legacy and quality, rather than price reduction.
Beth Bloom
Food & Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on beer
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on beer, November 2020
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Reemergence
      • Figure 3: Perception of beer launches versus hard seltzer launches, January 2019-October 2020
      • Figure 4: Total US volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2017-2023 (fore)
      • Figure 5: Types of beer consumed – value brand, July 2019, July 2020
    • Recovery
      • Figure 6: Alcohol motivations, by select alcohol consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 7: Types of beer consumed – low/no alcohol, July 2019, July 2020
      • Figure 8: Perception of beer launches versus cider launches, January 2019-October 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Volume sales in decline leading into 2020, pandemic drives dollar drops
    • Light beer represents 45% of volume sales of beer, but falling
    • Beer leads decline in alcohol consumption
    • Category can use pandemic disruption as a chance to reclaim relevance
    • Boost health perception through natural, cider can help
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • COVID-19 will seal the deal on beer declines
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on beer
      • Figure 12: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on beer, November 2020
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Learnings from the last recession: volume declines will happen, but dollar sales don’t need to match
      • Figure 13: Total US volume sales of beer, 2007-12
  5. Segment Performance

    • Light beer dominates volume sales, gives way to more interesting options
    • Import/craft performance points to the value of experience and worthwhile investment
    • The super-premium/premium segment projected to give way to craft in 2020
    • “Popular” brands can slow their bleed during a time of economic downturn
      • Figure 14: Total US volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 15: Total US volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2017-2023 (fore)
    • Light beer doesn’t wow for uniqueness, excitement or even health
      • Figure 16: Perception of beer light beer launches versus all beer launches, January 2019-October 2020
      • Figure 17: Perception of light launches versus hard seltzer launches, January 2019-October 2020
    • Popular brands should emphasize the value of trustworthiness
      • Figure 18: Perception of value/popular beer launches versus all beer launches, January 2019-October 2020
    • Cider roller coaster should begin another ascent
      • Figure 19: Total US volume sales of alcoholic cider, 2015-19
      • Figure 20: Perception of beer launches versus cider launches, January 2019-October 2020
    • On-prem limitation challenges beer in its fight against seltzer
      • Figure 21: US volume sales of beer, craft beer and FMBs, by channel, 2015-19
  6. Market Factors

    • Alcohol consumption on the decline, beer sees the steepest drop
      • Figure 22: Alcohol consumption, 2017-2020
      • Figure 23: Perception of beer launches versus all alcohol launches (excluding beer), January 2019-October 2020
    • Quest for health continues, drinkers want to feel good about their alcohol choices
      • Figure 24: Alcohol statements – health – any agree, by beer/cider consumption, July 2020
    • Youngest drinkers exhibit strongest flight; engage through experience
      • Figure 25: Change in instance of alcohol consumption, 2017-2020
    • Pandemic-related stress boosted drinking among some
      • Figure 26: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 27: Reasons for drinking more alcohol, July 2020
    • Beer must reclaim enjoyment factor
      • Figure 28: Alcohol motivations, by select alcohol consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 29: Alcohol motivations, by craft beer consumption, July 2020
    • Habit changes have the strongest initial impact on pandemic decreases
      • Figure 30: Reasons for drinking less alcohol, July 2020
    • COVID-19 increased drinking alone, on weeknights and via delivery
      • Figure 31: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol behavior, by beer drinkers, July 2020
    • Continued high unemployment will lead to consumers evaluating spend
      • Figure 32: Expected US Unemployment, 2019-2025
      • Figure 33: Impact of COVID-19 on alcohol consumption, by HH income, July 2020
    • Expanding cannabis legalization challenges beer
      • Figure 34: Substances consumed or used – marijuana/cannabis (any format), October 2019
  7. Market Opportunities

    • Enhance the beer experience
      • Figure 35: Mintel Trend Driver Experiences
    • Celebrate style and let’s see what this baby can do on the open road
      • Figure 36: Growth/decline of leading beer types on menu, 2018 and 2019
      • Figure 37: Fastest growing beer types on menu, 2018 and 2019
    • Make it a show
      • Figure 38: Budweiser | Nitro Gold | “Wrong Is Right” :30, March 2, 2020
    • A feast for the eyes
    • Expand beyond summer
    • Nurture exploration (and loyalty) through delivery and subscriptions
      • Figure 39: Alcohol purchase location, by beer/cider consumption, July 2020
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Half of MULO sales of beer belong to two market leaders
    • Cider is more diversified than beer at MULO
    • Cans dominate category launches; don’t let this dilute perception of quality
  9. Market Share

    • FMBs chip away at beer leaders success at MULO
    • Sales of beer by company
      • Figure 40: US multi-outlet sales of beer, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 41: US multi-outlet sales of beer, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
    • MULO domestic sales see growth of legacy, craft-style and the competition
      • Figure 42: US multi-outlet sales of domestic beer, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
    • Constellation Brands controls 60% of MULO sales of imported beer
      • Figure 43: US multi-outlet sales of imported beer, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
    • Big cider brands lose out to smaller players; health and flavor working
    • Seattle Cider Company exemplifies cider’s craft and range
      • Figure 44: US multi-outlet sales of alcoholic cider, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
  10. Competitive Strategies

    • Expanding flavored options as an opportunity for growth
      • Figure 45: Beer launches by leading claims, 2018-20*
      • Figure 46: Perception of flavored beer launches versus all beer launches, January 2019-October 2020
      • Figure 47: Top three beer launches perceived as tasty, January 2019-October 2020
    • Ethical claims lead and rising among beer launches; health is in hot pursuit
      • Figure 48: Beer launches by leading claims, 2018-20*
      • Figure 49: Beer launches by fastest growing claims, 2018-20*
      • Figure 50: Top three beer launches perceived as healthy, January 2019-October 2020
      • Figure 51: Top three beer launches perceived as natural, January 2019-October 2020
      • Figure 52: Cider launches by leading claims, 2018-20*
      • Figure 53: Cider launches by fastest growing claims, 2018-20*
    • Entering the seltzer game
    • Cans continue to pull away; bottles enjoy higher purchase intent, for now
      • Figure 54: Beer launches, by pack type, 2018-20*
      • Figure 55: Cider launches, by pack type, 2018-20*
      • Figure 56: Types of beer consumed – container type, August 2018, July 2019, July 2020
      • Figure 57: Perception of canned beer launches versus bottled beer launches, January 2019-October 2020
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Beer leads alcohol consumption, but is giving way to other categories
    • Beer retains higher consumption frequency than competing categories
    • Category-wide embrace of craft positioning challenges “craft” selling point
    • Low-alcohol holds stronger potential than no-alcohol in the near term
    • Brand continues to lead beer choice, but there are many paths to appeal
  12. Beer Consumption

    • Beer maintains its lead, barely
      • Figure 58: Alcohol consumption, July 2020
    • One in 10 beer drinkers is switching to alcoholic seltzers
      • Figure 59: Beer statements – alcoholic seltzers, July 2020
      • Figure 60: Perception of beer launches versus hard seltzer launches, January 2019-October 2020
    • Beer remains the domain of men, continues to lose women
      • Figure 61: Alcohol consumption, by gender, July 2020
      • Figure 62: Beer statements – alcoholic seltzers, by gender, July 2020
    • Beer is losing out to wine, and soon RTDs, among the youngest drinkers
      • Figure 63: Alcohol consumption, by age, July 2020
      • Figure 64: Beer statements – alcoholic seltzers, by age, July 2020
    • Cider has strong audience in young Hispanics
      • Figure 65: Alcohol consumption, by Hispanic origin and age, July 2020
    • Appeal among lower earners implies affordability; focus on wider value
      • Figure 66: Alcohol consumption, by HH income, July 2020
  13. Beer Consumption Frequency

    • Nearly one in five beer drinkers consume daily
      • Figure 67: Alcohol consumption frequency, July 2020
    • Category has the chance to engage women multiple times per week
      • Figure 68: Beer consumption frequency, by gender, July 2020
      • Figure 69: Cider consumption frequency, by gender, July 2020
    • Engage 35-44s with variety; reward older drinkers with worthwhile indulgence
      • Figure 70: Beer consumption frequency, by age, July 2020
    • Lower alcohol outpaces low price, low calories for frequent consumption
      • Figure 71: Beer consumption frequency, by beer type consumed, July 2020
  14. Types of Beer Consumed

    • Craft beer
    • Craft boom leading to the dilution of craft brands
      • Figure 72: Types of beer consumed – craft, August 2017, August 2018, July 2019, July 2020
      • Figure 73: Beer statements – craft, July 2020
    • Craft remains the domain of the younger drinker and higher earner
      • Figure 74: Types of beer consumed – craft, by age, July 2020
      • Figure 75: Beer statements – craft, by age, July 2020
      • Figure 76: Types of beer consumed – craft, by HH income, July 2020
    • Light/low-calorie beer
    • Light beer consumption declines
      • Figure 77: Types of beer consumed – light/low-calorie, August 2017, August 2018, July 2019, July 2020
    • Lower earners and Hispanic consumers don’t want to pay for less
      • Figure 78: Types of beer consumed – light/low-calorie, by HH income, July 2020
      • Figure 79: Types of beer consumed – light/low-calorie, by Hispanic origin, July 2020
    • Domestic/imported beer
    • Imports narrow the gap
      • Figure 80: Types of beer consumed – provenance, August 2017, August 2018, July 2019, July 2020
    • Lower earners shy away from imports
      • Figure 81: Types of beer consumed – provenance, by HH income, July 2020
    • Flavored beer
    • Flavored beer grows interest
      • Figure 82: Types of beer consumed – flavor, August 2017, August 2018, July 2019, July 2020
    • Flavor meets young drinkers’ desire for new; allows women to stake claim
      • Figure 83: Types of beer consumed – flavor, by age, July 2020
      • Figure 84: Types of beer consumed – flavor, by gender, July 2020
  15. Value Brands and Low-/No-Alcohol Beer Consumption

    • 14% of beer drinkers drink low-alcohol offerings, could be a proxy for value
      • Figure 85: Types of beer consumed – value brand and low/no alcohol, July 2019, July 2020
      • Figure 86: Beer statements – low alcohol, July 2020
    • Reduced alcohol offerings find particular appeal among younger drinkers
      • Figure 87: Types of beer consumed – value brand and low/no alcohol, by age, July 2020
      • Figure 88: Beer statements – low alcohol, by age, July 2020
    • Value brands not limited to lower earners
      • Figure 89: Types of beer consumed – value brand and low/no alcohol, by HH income, July 2020
    • One in five “true-craft” drinkers would like to see more low-alc options
      • Figure 90: Types of beer consumed – low/no alcohol, by craft beer consumption, July 2020
  16. Beer Choice Factors

    • Brand losing importance in beer choice
      • Figure 91: Beer choice factors, August 2017, August 2018, July 2020
    • Appeal to women through low calories
      • Figure 92: Beer choice factors, by gender, July 2020
    • Younger consumers stray further away from brand in beer choice
      • Figure 93: Beer choice factors, by age, July 2020
    • Style leads choice factors for craft drinkers
      • Figure 94: Beer choice factors, by craft beer consumption, July 2020
  17. Alcohol Statements

    • Flavor drives drink choice, beer beware
      • Figure 95: Alcohol statements – choice drivers – any agree, by beer/cider consumption, July 2020
    • Brands need to own occasions to appeal to younger drinkers
      • Figure 96: Alcohol statements – choice drivers – any agree, by age, July 2020
    • Beer drinkers are brand-conscious, but not necessarily brand loyal
      • Figure 97: Alcohol statements – brand – any agree, by beer/cider consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 98: Beer statements – loyalty, July 2020
    • Men more likely to be brand-conscious/loyal; catch women while you can
      • Figure 99: Alcohol statements – brand – any agree, by gender, July 2020
      • Figure 100: Beer statements – brand, by gender, July 2020
    • Value brands go beyond affordability to personal identity
      • Figure 101: Beer statements – loyalty, by beer type consumed, July 2020
      • Figure 102: Alcohol statements – brand – any agree, by beer type consumption, July 2020
      • Figure 103: Beer statements – alcoholic seltzers, by beer type consumed, July 2020
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 104: Total US volume sales of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider, 2015-19
      • Figure 105: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer and craft beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 106: Total US volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 107: Total US volume sales and forecast of light beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 108: Total US volume sales and forecast of super-premium and premium beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 109: Total US volume sales and forecast of imported beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 110: Total US volume sales and forecast of craft beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 111: Total US volume sales and forecast of popular beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 112: Total US volume sales and forecast of ice beer, 2015-23
      • Figure 113: Total US volume sales and forecast of malt liquor, 2015-23
      • Figure 114: Total US volume sales of alcoholic cider, 2015-19
      • Figure 115: US volume sales of domestic beer, by form, 2015-19
      • Figure 116: US volume sales of beer, craft beer and FMBs, by channel, 2015-19
  20. Appendix –Companies and Brands

      • Figure 117: US multi-outlet sales of beer, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020

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