Imports and Below Premium outperform the Beer market in the US On Premise

Sales of imported and below-premium beer are holding up well in the US On Premise, while higher-priced domestic brands, craft and cider have lost share.

Those are among a wealth of insights from CGA by NIQ’s exclusive On Premise Measurement (OPM) solution, which provides the most accurate picture of the out-of-home beer category in the US.


The service shows total beer sales by value in the 12 months to the end of January were fractionally down by 0.7% year-on-year. Volumes fell by 5.7%—an indication that revenue is being sustained at the moment by higher prices rather than increased consumption.


CGA’s research reveals significant movements among sub-categories in beer. Best-performing subsegments in the last 12 months include imports, where volumes have fallen by only 1.9%, while total distribution points (TDP) increased by 7.8%. Below-premium volumes were even more resilient, slipping by just 1.0%, and their distribution rose by 7.1%.


Reflecting the ongoing pressure on consumers’ spending, some more expensive sub-categories have lost share. Domestic premium and super-premium volumes fell by 7.6% and 6.4% respectively, with distribution points down 8.8% and 3.8%. Volumes also contracted in cider (down 11.9%) and hard seltzers (down 9.5%).


The OPM service also provides valuable analysis of beer sales by style, revealing strong growth in volumes of imported stout (7.8%), craft, blonde and golden ales (8.4%) and domestic premium amber lager (6.4%).  


Breakdowns of trading by location meanwhile identify hotspots for beer sales, including growth in sales by value in states including Pennsylvania (1.0%), Florida (1.3%) and Colorado (2.4%).


Matthew Compton, CGA by NIQ’s regional director – North America, said: “Pressure on disposable incomes has made for a hyper-competitive beer category in recent months, but our research confirms there are still many opportunities for growth. The resilience of the below-premium segment indicates the importance of value at the moment, while interest in imports and styles like stout suggests some beer consumers are looking beyond tried-and-trusted domestic brands for new flavors. In such a complex and fast-moving category, it’s vital to pinpoint these and many more preferences, and our OPM solution is the ideal way for suppliers to stay right on top of trends and developments.


CGA’s OPM solution delivers in-depth intelligence on the beer category across the US On Premise, with expert analysis by channel, sub-category, state, and much more. To discover more about the service and opportunities for bespoke analysis, contact Matthew Crompton here or visit 


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