US beer drinkers have long stood out amongst their counterparts in other developed markets for their reticence to embrace low and non-alcohol products. This was rooted both in its reputation for a poor taste and quality, and for its association with consumers struggling with alcohol addiction.
The ale category has seen consistent volume growth in the US, thanks to the popularity of this style of beer amongst craft brewers, who are tapping into the growing interest in premium beers made locally. However, whilst craft has continued to grow, some of the macro ale brands have begun to see slower growth.
In recent years, US consumers enthusiastically took to imported lagers, increasingly choosing them over more affordable domestic options. The large number of new product launches in the domestic premium segment, however, are increasingly taking shelf space in major retailers, and as a result imported premium lager is showing its first signs of faltering.
Craft brewers represent an increasingly dynamic and significant share of the beer category in the US, contributing to a growing share of total sales. Due to their smaller size, these brewers are acutely impacted by changing legislative factors in alcoholic drinks in the US.
With the overall total volume decline in beer in 2018, most of the main players saw declines in their actual volume sales. Crown Imports, however, bucked this trend thanks to strong performances by many of its secondary brands.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.