Poor ol’ big beer. This economy is being blamed for the downward turn in sales over the last three years:
The last three years have been brutal. In the 52 weeks ending in late August, the number of beer cases sold in stores was down 1.5% from the year earlier, according to Nielsen, while spirit volume sales were up 3.2% in the year ending in mid-September. By year’s end, experts are forecasting beer volume to be down some 2%. That would mark the third year in a row of a decline, which hasn’t happened in 50 years
The funny thing is craft beer seems to be doing just fine:
On the other hand, smaller craft brands — which tend to appeal to wealthier drinkers — are still on fire. Craft was up 14% in the first half of the year
That’s great news for craft beer lovers; however, I’m not sure about the editor of Beer Business Daily’s reason for the upswing in craft beer:
“The brands that are growing are the brands the rich people drink,” Harry Schuhmacher, editor of Beer Business Daily, said in a convention presentation. Crafts also rarely do any expensive advertising, relying instead on social media, events and word-of-mouth buzz.
Maybe, just maybe, people are sick of watered down, generic beer. Maybe, just maybe, people want something that not only has great flavor, but is brewed in their own community and not by a corporate conglomerate. I personally think the increase in craft beers is more about flavor and supporting local business owners, and not about a rich demographic supporting the cause. What do you think?