A Peek at Mid-Year Trends – Looking Good!

The Brewers Association (the national trade association representing the craft brewing industry) holds a monthly educational webinar called “Power Hour” for the BA membership. This month’s Power Hour was a look at the mid-year trends and statistics in the craft beer industry, led by Dan Wandel, Senior Vice President of the Beverage Alcohol Market Insights Group at IRI.  Dan laid out some impressive year-to-date craft beer category numbers that on one hand are not surprising given the steady and consistent rise of craft beer in recent years. But on the other hand, these trends are yet again a strong affirmation that craft beer continues to transform the brewing industry both here in the US and globally.

We have seen year after year of strong craft beer growth both in California and nationally, but what is somewhat surprising is that it appears to be accelerating. As Dan pointed out, 2014 could be the strongest year of growth for craft beer ever!

IRI tracks checkout counter scan data at multiple off-premise retail “channels” such as grocery/supermarket, big-box, convenience stores, drug chains, etc. All numbers are YTD through July 13th.

Let’s take a look at our home turf first. Sales of craft beer in California are up 20.7% and now account for a 16.8% market share. That is a strong showing. The national market share for craft is currently between 8-9%. Given a statewide market share of 16%, certain markets in California such as San Diego and San Francisco are sure to be in the 20-25% range at least.

Nationwide numbers are impressive too. Craft’s dollar sales in the grocery channel (IRI’s largest retail channel), are up 20.5%.

The high end beer segment (imports, super premium, cider, craft and others) now makes up over half (50.6%) of total beer dollar sales in the supermarket channel. That is a furthering of the mind-blowing shift going on in the overall beer category. The revolution clearly continues.

In the total beer category, domestic shipments are flat and imports are up ever-so-slightly at +0.5%,

And how about this? Total craft can sales are up 79% in IRI tracked supermarkets and now make up 7.2% market share of total craft sales.

Yes, it is a good year for craft beer (hey, that rhymes!)