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Beer category’s market share increases across US chains

US bar chains have witnessed sales of beer rising compared to two years ago, with the category stealing market share from spirits and wine.

The boost in beer sales compared to two years prior has been highlighted by the analysts at CGA by NIQ who noted the trend via the statistics company’s On Premise Measurement (OPM) service, which tracks the latest trends in US restaurants and bars.

According to the data, the analysts noted that total sales by value in the year to April 2024 were down by 2.5% from the previous 12 months, however they were 7.3% ahead of sales in the year to April 2022.

CGA’s research identified how beer increased its share of total value sales by 1.5% between 2022 and 2024, with craft, import and below-premium looking likely to be the biggest sub-category winners.

The data also showed how beer’s share gain had cannibalised other categories including spirits and wine, which lost 1.4% and 0.3% respectively over the two-year period.

CGA’s OPM report also unveiled crucial state-by-state trends in chains which the analysts insisted would help suppliers tailor their strategies to different parts of the country. One such discovery, for instance, included the findings showing how beer’s share was rising fastest in Nevada, where year-on-year share growth now stands at 4.3%, marking a big opportunity for the region’s brewers and bar owners.

Other key states seeing gains include California (up 0.8%), New York (up 1.6%) and Colorado (up 1.2%), but marginal losses in other states like Texas (down 0.6%), Florida (down 0.2%) and Georgia (down 0.9%), all of which show how the beer category is developing and also where the challenges still lie.

Looking deeper into the report, the findings showed how the spirits category had gained the largest share of value in Georgia (up 1.0%) owing to strong sales of Tequila, while within the wine category, there was only minimal chain share growth in California (up 0.4%), Texas (up 0.5%) and Florida (up 0.3%), despite losses in many other states.

Speaking about the data and what it shows the industry, CGA by NIQ’s regional director – North America Matthew Crompton said: “It’s encouraging to see drinks sales through chains have recovered well since the upheaval of Covid-19 — especially for beer brands. However, pressure on consumers’ spending continues to make trading conditions difficult.”

With this in mind, the analysts advised that people within the industry need to assess these kinds of trends carefully to make the best buying decisions for venues as well as understand where the untapped market opportunities are hiding.

Crompton added: “In such a competitive environment, suppliers need to understand the very latest trends in demand and respond nimbly to changing preferences from state to state. Our research provides the insights that all businesses in the chain sector need to polish strategies, localise tactics and achieve growth.”

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