While certain segments of the beer category demonstrated strong gains in 2016, the overall category decreased by 0.3% to end the year with 2.83 billion 2.25-gallon cases, according to the Beverage Information Group's 2017 Beer Handbook. Continued economic growth, employment gains, and evolving consumer preferences are contributing factors in the evolution of the beer industry.
The Imported beer segment enjoyed another year of strong volume performance, growing 6.7% to 454.4 million 2.25-gallon cases. This continued success helped push the import's market share to 16% in 2016. The segment last peaked in 2007 when it reached 13.8% with 408.3 million 2.25-gallon cases before slipping each year until 2014, which began a string of years with positive sales gains.
The Craft beer segment grew 6.0% in 2016 to 300-million 2.25-gallon cases, the same growth rate as in the prior year. Remarkedly it surpassed the 10% market share for the first time, reaching 10.4% up from 9.8% in 2015. The craft explosion, however, is beginning to show signs that it's losing steam. As the numbers of Millennials continues to grow so does their penchant for experimentation across brands and categories. On the upside for the craft segment is the growing number of regional and micro- breweries, topping 5,234 in 2016. With so many new offerings hitting the marketplace, Millennials may still find crafts appealing.
Flavored Malt Beverages (FMBs) leveled off in 2016 after experiencing growth of 7.5%, 8.2% and 21% the last three years, respectively. In 2016 FMBs accounted for 110 million 2.25-gallon cases, growing just 2.4%. The reason for this slow down begins at the top. Segment leader Bud Light Rita's line had been growing at double and triple-digits since its introduction in 2012. In 2015 that momentum suddenly halted to just 0.5% growth, with growth in 2016 of only 0.1%. Still at 30.7 million 2.25-gallon cases, the brand is still a powerhouse and the segment leader.
The Super and Premium beer segments suffered in 2016 from the same problem as the Light beer segment: there's a general malaise towards them for not being craft beer. Overall, the segment lost 13.3 million 2.25-gallon cases in 2016, shrinking to finish the year with 385.8 million 2.25-gallon cases. The super and premium segment commanded a 13.6% share of beer industry.
The Light beer segment is also under fire, slipping 2.6% in 2016, despite it being the largest segment in the industry with a whopping 44.5% market share. The light segment sold 1.26 billion 2.25-gallon case in 2016, 33 million fewer cases than in 2015. Among the 23 beers included in the 2017 Beer Handbook's top light brands, only Michelob Ultra registered positive sales, finishing in 6th place with 70.8 million 2.25-gallon cases sold, an uptick of 18.4% over 2015.
he Popular beer segment continued its steady decline in recent years with only 6.5% of the overall beer market. The segment was down 1.7% to 185.6 million 2.25-gallon cases. The Malt Liquor and Ice segments were also down, roughly 4% verses 2015.
Newport Storm Launches 2017 Fall Seasonals
Newport Storm’s Fall Storm of the Seasons are R.I.P.umpkin and Oktoberfest. Newport Storm’s R.I.Pumpkin beer is boasting 3 pounds of pumpkin per keg, coupled with lactose milk sugar, a touch of chocolate malt for a ruby/orange color, caramel and cara malts for sweetness and copious quantities of pale malt, the only ingredient left for this liquid pumpkin pie libation was spices. Staying true to RI, Newport Storm sourced these spices locally from Spice Mill, located in Wakefield, RI. The mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves will ‘warm you up with a cold one,’ all fall and winter long! Available: on draft and in bottles 9/1 – 12/31.
The brewery season is not complete without a couple of Oktoberfest celebrations. Newport’s Storm’s Oktoberfest is their most technical brew to make and one of their only lagers. The colder and longer fermentation requires precision and patience. True to the Maarzen style, copious amounts of German Vienna, Carapils, and Munich Malts lend a sweetness people ask for all year! German Tradition and Czech Saaz hops are added post boil to really authenticate this fantastic crowd favorite!
Brooklyn Crafted Launches New Line: Mini Ginger Beer
BCGA Concept Corp., manufacturer of Brooklyn Crafted, announced the launch of Brooklyn Crafted Mini Bottles, a new line of craft ginger beers cased in 7 fluid ounce bottles. Available in four delicious flavors – Traditional, Earl Grey, Lemon & Lime and Mango – each authentic ginger beer variety is made with 100% fresh, unfiltered ginger pieces you can actually SEE. The new line of Mini Bottles joins Brooklyn Crafted's existing product line, including Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, Extra Spicy Sugar Free Ginger Beer and Sugar Free Ginger Ale, which are a 12 fluid ounce size.
Brooklyn Crafted Launches New Line: Mini Ginger BeerCrafted in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the new Brooklyn Crafted Mini Bottles line, include:
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