Beer Institute Believes Beer Shipments Will Decline in 2018

Both the beer and craft beer categories have run into headwinds in recent years, and the Beer Institute does not believe these challenges will relent in 2018.

Quite the opposite. As reported by Brewbound, Michael Uhrich, chief economist at the Beer Institute, projects that beer shipments in the U.S. will decline this year by 1-3%.

The former number likely represents the best-case scenario, Uhrich said during the national trade association’s “State of the Industry” webinar yesterday, while -3% is the bottom projection.

These less-than-rosy projections follow recent years in which beer shipments have remained flat or declined slightly.

Uhrich did believe that rising personal incomes in the U.S. may help sell more beer, but also pointed out that beer once again lost market share to wine and spirits in 2017.

“We peaked in share in the mid-90s at a little over 60 percent, and now beer has fallen to slightly below 50 percent of total alcohol servings,” Uhrich was quoted as saying in the Brewbound piece. “According to my estimation, it’s actually the lowest share of the alcohol category that beer has ever had.”

While Mexican imports continue to increase, Uhrich said that the rate of growth has slowed.

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