retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CNN reports that Budweiser no longer is one of the three most popular beers in the US. Until 2001, the story notes, it was number one, the self-proclaimed “King of Beers.” But it has been steadily dropping in popularity, and now is down to fourth.

Bud Light is number one, Coors Light is number two, and Miller Lite is number three.

According to CNN, “Though Miller Lite is now part of the top three, its sales dipped in 2017 -- they just didn't fall as far as Bud's. In fact, all four top-selling beers slipped last year … Bud Light's shipping volume from the U.S. fell by 2 million barrels last year … Miller Lite shipments fell by "just" 375,000 barrels … Overall, beer sales were down slightly in the United States last year.

The story notes that while 10 years ago the top 10 beer brands made up two-thirds of industry sales,, that share has dropped to 50 percent as craft beers have grown and consumer tastes have matured. Lately, however, even craft beers seem to be experiencing a slowdown, and “six of the top seven craft brands' shipments fell in 2017.”
KC's View:
There always are going to be ebbs and flows in an industry like this, especially as drinkers’ tastes mature. Even at my age, I find that happening. I’ve become a late-in-life vodka drinker, mostly Tito’s, with soda and a slice of lime. And my son got me to try some high-end Four Roses bourbon the other day that I really liked. My kids, while they drink beer and wine, tell me that they and their friends all have a taste for liquor that I never had at their age. They like to experiment ands try new things.

Which means, I think, that I’m not solely responsible for the craft beer business seeing some weakness. I like to think I’m still capable of personal growth.