US beer consumption on decline for fourth year in row

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The Beverage Information Group has reported in its ‘2011 Beer Handbook’ that the US beer industry is showing continuous decline, losing 1.9% to total 2.8 billion cases, for the fourth consecutive year.

The group attributed the overall losses in the industry to the continued decline in the light segment which has seen drop amongst its core brands with only pockets of growth from newly introduced line extensions.

On the other hand, the craft segment continued to report high profits due to consumers’ attraction to the various flavors that craft brewers offer. In addition, imports gained 0.9% to 362.8 million cases last year.

Beverage Information Group information services manager Eric Schmidt said the super premium, craft/specialty, and flavored malt beverage category has benefited from the craft sector’s growth.

According to the handbook, rising fuel costs and high unemployment rates among the beer industry’s core consumers are two factors in its downfall, and the gains from super premium, craft/specialty and flavored malt beverage segment can’t offset the losses in the remaining domestic segments.