Press Release

US Beer Market Insights, 2012

September 14th, 2012

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "USA Beer Market Insights 2013" by GlobalData.

There is an observable trend of people preferring at home consumption over on-premise...

Beer consumption in the US fell by 1.6% in 2011 as blue collar workers who represent the core of US beer drinkers continued to experience high levels of unemployment and pressure on their disposable incomes. This is due to an economy that, although doing better than most developed economies, has failed to fully recover from the severe downturn of 2007.

However the picture is not universally gloomy and the fact that some higher priced segments of the beer market, such as craft beers, imports and ciders (the latter is not included in this reports data), continue to show substantial growth, points to the fact that a "two speed" recovery is beginning to emerge. A significant number of households and consumers appear to be less affected by the down economy and continue to shop in up-market food stores and spend money on premium food and drink products, including craft and imported beers. Despite the growth in these higher priced segments, as in the lower priced segments, there is an observable trend of people preferring at home consumption over on-premise.


Three brand owners account for almost 78% of the US beer volume with A-BInBev holding 49%, SABMiller having almost 16% and Molson Coors holding just over 13%.

Meanwhile Modelo has almost 6% and Heineken has just over 4%; despite the fact that both of these companies are importers rather than producers, their sales are nevertheless somewhat larger than any of the remaining brewers. For example, Pabst is the next biggest US brewer with slightly more than a 2% share, followed by Yuengling and Boston Beer which both have just over 1% of volume. Indeed with Pabst being a virtual brewer with no production facilities of its own Yuengling, which overtook Boston Beer in size in 2010, is now the largest US-owned beer producer in the country.

None of the leading beer companies achieved any growth during the year, with both A-BinBev and Heineken down by over 3% and SABMiller down by almost 6%, whilst Molsen Coors remained stagnant. Despite the lack of positive performance in the leading companies, Modelo experienced almost 6% growth while Boston Beer was up by over 9% and Yuengling was up by over 16%.

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