2021
9
US Beer Market Report 2021
2021-12-10T03:06:32+00:00
OX1045029
3695
146189
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Report
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“The rebounding on-premise channel and consumers’ eagerness to reconnect with friends and family reconciled 2020 pandemic loss in the beer category. However, the longer-term impact of the pandemic has yet…

US Beer Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US beer market including US beer market size, and beer market growth, anticipated market forecasts, relevant market segmentation, and  beer industry trends for the beer market in the US.

Current market landscape

COVID-19 drove the first dollar sales loss the beer category has seen in decades; however, 2021 growth reconciled 2020 declines and then some – with estimated 6.5% growth over the 2019 prepandemic baseline. Nonetheless the long-term impact of the pandemic is still playing out, challenging beer brands with declining consumption and an elevated appreciation and preference for lower-spend at-home occasions.

Ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages have been stealing share of sales and consumption from leading alcohol categories for several years. While reduced sugar and calories are selling points of many leading RTD brands, consumers most commonly choose the category over other alcohol types such as beer for flavor trial and flavor variety.

Future market trends and beer market research

Low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer has caught fire, with 18% of beer buyers purchasing these options, and a nearly equal portion of non-buyers expressing interest in purchasing. Inspiring trial and usage occasions will be essential in inspiring continued trial and repurchase that can drive growth of the beer category in general.

Read on to discover more about the US Beer consumer market, read our Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverages: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US – August 2020 report, or take a look at our other Beer and Cider Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the beer market.
  • Moderation and “less-but-better” drinking.
  • The continuation of at-home drinking and how to reinvigorate the occasion.
  • Beer’s role in social re-emergence.
  • Diversifying the Millennial male-dominant category.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller 64, Bud Select 55, Budweiser, Yuenling, Blue Moon, Shock Top, Boston Beer Co, Sierra Nevada, Busch, Miller High Life, Heineken, Leinenkugel, Miller Light, Natural Light, Keystone Light, Boston Beer.

Not included: Sales of flavored malt beverages (Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita or Mike’s Hard Lemonade) are sometimes, but not always, included in data tables. That said, due to data constraints, these beverages are generally not discussed in this report. For a full discussion and analysis, please refer to Mintel’s RTD Alcoholic Beverages – US, 2021.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Sydney Olson, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The rebounding on-premise channel and consumers’ eagerness to reconnect with friends and family reconciled 2020 pandemic loss in the beer category. However, the longer-term impact of the pandemic has yet to be felt, and brands must act to address societal shifts in how consumers are spending their time and money, prioritizing their health and moderating their alcohol consumption.

Sydney Olson, Food and Drink Analyst
Sydney Olson
Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on beer
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on beer, November 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Serve the at-home barstool
      • Figure 2: Comfort with away-from-home activities, 2021
    • RTDs are a threat to beer; flavor plays a larger role than health
      • Figure 3: Reason for choosing RTDs over other alcohol types, 2021
    • Reinvigorate retail and at-home drinking with private label beer offerings and experiences
      • Figure 4: Interest in private label food/drink concepts, 2021
    • Fan the fire of low-/no-alcohol beer through occasion instruction
      • Figure 5: Low-/No-alcohol beer launch perceptions, 2021
    • Reach women through innovation and inclusive marketing
      • Figure 6: Beer types purchased – Females, 2021
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Beer gets back on track with the rebound of on-premise
    • Shift toward at-home drinking has achieved a level of permanence
    • Beer must convey holistic value – physically and financially
    • Flavor is the name of the alcohol market competition game
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Beer category reconciles loss in 2021
      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of beer, craft beer, and alcoholic cider, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of beer, craft beer, and alcoholic cider, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on beer
  5. Segment Performance

    • Light beer remains dominate, but continued loss requires repositioning
      • Figure 9: Total US volume sales and forecast of light beer, 2016-24
    • A bright future for imports
      • Figure 10: Total US volume sales and forecast of imported beer, 2016-24
    • Craft stems decline and stages a comeback
      • Figure 11: Total US volume sales and forecast of craft beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 12: Total US share of volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2021 (est)
      • Figure 13: Total US share of volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2019-21
    • Rely on specialty beer to maintain ecommerce momentum
      • Figure 14: Alcohol shopping methods in the past 12 months, by alcohol type purchased, 2021
  6. Market Factors

    • The Delta variant dims the light at the end of the tunnel
      • Figure 15: Attitudes on COVID-19, 2021
      • Figure 16: Pandemic-driven new priorities
    • At-home drinking is here for the long haul, make it fun
      • Figure 17: Comfort with away-from-home activities, 2021
    • Physical and financial health contribute to consumption declines; both can be overcome with “less-but-better” approach
      • Figure 18: Change in alcohol consumption, by age, 2020-21
      • Figure 19: Reason for drinking less, by beer purchase, 2021
      • Figure 20: Health-related alcohol attitudes, 2021
      • Figure 21: COVID-19 concern, 2021
    • Compete against RTDs with flavor, not nutrition
      • Figure 22: Reason for choosing RTDs over other alcohol types, 2021
      • Figure 23: Alcoholic beverages flavors of interest, 2021
      • Figure 24: Leading beer launch perceived as tasty, 2020-21
    • Use the “can-demic” to inspire format re-consideration
      • Figure 25: Beer launches, by format, 2016-21
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Legacy companies show signs of weakening
    • Leaning on food and beverage trends, and their recognizable brand names
    • Closing the beer gender divide through women’s sports
    • Fan the low-/no-alcohol flames by instructing on usage occasions
  8. Market Share

    • Dominant companies remain dominant, but lose share and sales at MULO
      • Figure 26: Multi-outlet sales of beer, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Big Boston Beer year, largely attributed to RTDs 
    • Michelob Ultra builds upon success
      • Figure 27: Michelob Ultra launches, 2021
      • Figure 28: Multi-outlet sales of domestic beer, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Constellation and Heineken control 80% of import beer segment
      • Figure 29: Modelo Chelada, 2021
      • Figure 30: Multi-outlet sales of imported beer, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Specialty cider brands win through focus on flavor
      • Figure 31: Top cider launches, by purchase intent, 2021
      • Figure 32: Multi-outlet sales of alcoholic ciders, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • A helping hand from pandemic breakfast and snacking trends
      • Figure 33: Breakfast and coffee flavor beer launches, 2021
      • Figure 34: Co-branded beer promotion, 2021
    • Supporting women’s sports
      • Figure 35: Michelob “Save It, See It” campaign, 2021
      • Figure 36: Heineken women’s soccer partnership, 2021
    • Beer adds to the experience of outdoor leisure activities
      • Figure 37: Miller Lite OLA Instagram posts, 2021
      • Figure 38: Pacifico OLA Instagram posts, 2021
  10. Market Opportunities

    • Private label beer and the “in-store taproom”
      • Figure 39: Interest in private label concepts, 2021
    • Defining occasions for low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer
      • Figure 40: Alcohol-free/low-alcohol beer launch perceptions, 2021
    • Reach women and competitive alcohol categories with cider-based RTDs
      • Figure 41: Cider-based rtd launches, 2021
    • Holiday cheer with beer
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Maintain older Millennial males, find growth in younger consumers, women
    • Beer loses out at retail
    • Focus on occasions for high-energy connection
    • Brand drives choice, but takes on different meaning for young consumers
    • Beer cocktails can fill some on-premise whitespace
  12. Attributes Associated with Alcohol Types

    • Beer wins refreshment, but not taste
    • Focus on occasions for high-energy connection
      • Figure 42: Attributes associated with alcohol types – Correspondence analysis, 2021
      • Figure 43: Attributes associated with alcohol types, 2021
  13. Frequency of Alcohol Consumption

    • Half of US adult drink alcohol on a weekly basis
      • Figure 44: Frequency of alcohol consumption, 2021
    • Use beer buyers’ engagement in the alcohol category to earn in-store support
      • Figure 45: Frequency of alcoholic beverage consumption in the past three months, by beer purchase, 2021
  14. Beer Buyer Profiles

    • Core audience: older Millennial male
      • Figure 46: Core beer-buyer profile, 2021
      • Figure 47: Alcohol types purchased, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 48: Beer types purchased, by HH income, 2021
    • Opportunity audience: younger LDAs and women
    • Loyalty of young consumers is up for grabs, use social circles and ethics
    • Reach women with innovation and the unique needs of moms
      • Figure 49: Beer types purchased, females, 2021
  15. Beer Retail Purchases

    • Beer’s retail leadership is at risk
      • Figure 50: Alcoholic beverage purchases from a store or for delivery – NET, 2021
    • From “true-craft” to “craft-style”
    • Flavored beer offerings have untapped potential
      • Figure 51: Beer types purchased, 2021
    • Young consumers can close the gap between domestic and imports
      • Figure 52: Alcoholic beverage purchases from a store or for delivery, 2021
      • Figure 53: Top performing import beer brands, by purchase intent, 2021
    • Alcohol-free beer continues upward trajectory, low-alcohol stumbles
      • Figure 54: Beer types purchased from a store or for delivery, by age, 2021
  16. Low-Alcohol and Alcohol-Free Interest

    • Low-alcohol and alcohol-free beer has potential to double its audience
      • Figure 55: Interest in trial of low-alcohol and alcohol-free beverages, 2021
    • Mid-age consumers are a growth target of low-/no-alcohol beer
      • Figure 56: Interest in trial of low-alcohol and alcohol-free beverages, by age, 2021
    • Elevate the taste experience
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward low-alcohol and alcohol-free beverages, by beer purchase, 2021
  17. Beer Purchase Factors

    • Brand names have less sway among younger drinkers
    • Beer buyers splurge for guests
    • Occasion guides choice for others
      • Figure 58: Beer purchase factors, by purchase occasions, 2021
      • Figure 59: Beer purchase factors, by age, 2021
  18. Beer Occasions

    • On-premise
    • Beer wins on-premise sports viewing occasions
    • Leverage cocktail strategy to grow beer usage at nightcap and brunch
      • Figure 60: On-premise occasions, by alcohol type, 2021
    • At Home
    • Imports – the beer of the holiday season
    • Low-alcohol and alcohol-free should move in on mealtimes
      • Figure 61: At-home occasions, by alcohol type – Activity, 2021
      • Figure 62: At-home occasions, by alcohol type – Time of day, 2021
  19. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Correspondence analysis methodology
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  20. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 63: Total US sales and forecast of beer, craft beer, and alcoholic cider, 2016-26
      • Figure 64: Total US sales and forecast of beer, craft beer, and alcoholic cider, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 65: Average annual spending on beer by people aged 21 or older, 2016-21
      • Figure 66: Total US volume sales of beer, craft beer and alcoholic cider, 2016-20
      • Figure 67: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer and craft beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 68: Total US volume sales and forecast of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2016-24
      • Figure 69: Total US volume sales of beer and craft beer, by segment, 2019 and 2021
      • Figure 70: Total US volume sales and forecast of light beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 71: Total US volume sales and forecast of super-premium and premium beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 72: Total US volume sales and forecast of imported beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 73: Total US volume sales and forecast of craft beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 74: Total US volume sales and forecast of popular beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 75: Total US volume sales and forecast of ice beer, 2016-24
      • Figure 76: Total US volume sales and forecast of malt liquor 2016-24
      • Figure 77: Total US volume sales of alcoholic cider, 2016-20
      • Figure 78: US volume sales of domestic beer, by form, 2016-20
      • Figure 79: US volume sales of beer, craft beer and FMBs, by channel, 2016-20
      • Figure 80: Total US volume sales of beverage alcohol 2016-20

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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