Press Release

NBWA Releases Beer Purchasers’ Index for October 2019

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

Today, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for October 2019.

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.

The total beer index rose to 70 for October 2019 from 48 in October 2018. Compared to all October readings over the past five years, this marks the highest reading recorded. The “At-Risk Inventory” index for total beer index dropped up to 48 and continues to remain below the 50 mark heading into the fourth quarter.

Looking across the segments: ​

  • Repeating last month’s performance, the flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB) segment saw another significant increase over 2018 with an index reading of 85 compared to 67 in October 2018. This index reading at 85 is the highest reading for the segment ever recorded and is reminiscent of craft index readings of 80+ that lasted from October 2014 through May 2016.
  • The craft index rose to 55 for October 2019 compared to 48 from October 2018. Craft has bounced around the critical 50 mark for most of 2019.
  • The index for imports also took a big step back from 2018 highs, but remained in expansion territory with an index reading of 64 compared to the October 2018 reading of 72.
  • Premium lights posted another slight increase over last year’s readings. The October 2019 reading was 44 compared to 42 in 2018. Premium regulars also ticked up slightly over this time last year from 27 to 29. Below premiums fell over the same period from 36 to 34. All three domestic segments continue to struggle with below 50 index readings.
  • The cider segment continues to show the most variability of any segment in the BPI, falling from 54 to 43. Cider orders continue to contract from peak readings in late 2018. This series will continue to play out as regional cider brands compete aggressively against larger national cider brands.

The November 2019 BPI survey will run from November 7th through November 15th. Results will be released to participating distributors on November 18th.