In honor of the April 7 observance of National Beer Day, TOP Worldwide LLC has released a new data analysis that found American beer consumption foamed up by 8.9% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ll Drink To That: Although government edicts resulted in the closure of bars, clubs and tasting rooms at craft breweries during the height of the health crisis, Americans forced to shelter at home kept up with their drinking thanks to the supermarkets and liquor stores that continued to operate as essential businesses.
But not every beer category enjoyed increased popularity during the pandemic. Flavored malt beverages (FMB) and progressive adult beverages (PAB) saw a 37.4% sales spike, while value beer sales were up 17.9% and non-alcohol beer sales were up 15.9%.
On the flip side, beers that had a more limited distribution span were not as fortunate. Craft and import beer sales dropped 17% during the pandemic and premium beer sales fell by 9%.
As for consumption levels, the survey found 20.5% of Americans allowed themselves one beer a week, 22% enjoyed eight to 16 per week, and 11.6% went into Foster Brooks mode and consumed 40 or more beers each month.
I’ll Have What You’re Having: As for brand popularity, Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA BUD was the favorite of the pandemic-era population. Its Budweiser brand reigned as the top-selling beers in 24 of the 50 states while Bud Light was the most popular beer in two states.
The only other national brand to score multiple state popularity was Coors Lite from Molson Coors Beverage Co TAP, which was a top choice in Kansas and Nebraska.
As for the remainder of the country, many local brands maintained their consumer loyalty over the pandemic, such as Colorado’s Denver Beer Co., Lousiana’s Abita Brewing Co. and Rhode Island’s Narragansett Brewing Co.
(Photo of Jimmy Durante and Buster Keaton in “What! No Beer?” (1933) courtesy of TCM.)
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