Press Release

NBWA Releases Beer Purchasers’ Index for July 2020

Media contact: Erin Donar | | 703-229-3702

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Today, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for July 2020 as beer distributors around the country are reacting to significant changes in consumer demand and working to meet unprecedented challenges in the marketplace.

The total Beer Purchasers’ Index for July 2020 dropped to 70.5 from last month’s all-time high mark of 81, though it is still above last year’s July reading of 64.7.

Notably, the “at-risk inventory” index for total beer (inventory at risk of going out of code in the next 30 days) fell to another all-time low reading of 20 in July 2020 from 45 in July 2019.

NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones explained, “Beer distributors continue to take an aggressive stance in their ordering to minimize out-of-stocks in the marketplace during the hot summer months of 2020.”

BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. The index surveys beer distributors’ purchases across different segments and compares them to previous years. A reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting.

Looking across the segments: ​

  • The FMB/seltzer segment continues to produce the highest BPI readings. The FMB/seltzer index recorded its second consecutive month at 94 for July 2020 and is above the July 2019 reading of 81.
  • The index for imports at 59 remains in expansion territory for July 2020 but below the July 2019 reading of 65. The higher BPI for imports follows several months of Mexico’s mandatory closures of brewing for April and May.
  • The craft index for July at 41 fell below the 50 break-even mark and significantly below the 59 reading reported in July 2019.
  • Across the domestic beer segments, premium lights, regulars and below premiums all continue to post historically high readings in July and continue a 4-month streak posting higher readings than craft and imports. Premium lights at 71 remain significantly elevated compared to the 42 mark for July 2019. Premium regular segment posted a 58 reading in July 2020 relative to 37 in July 2019. The below premium segment at 57 was also significantly higher than the July 2019 reading of 34.
  • The cider segment remains in contraction territory, falling to 37 in July 2020 from 42 at the same time last year.