Press Release

NBWA Releases Beer Purchasers’ Index for October 2020

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Today, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for October 2020, and the data shows early signs of settling back to normal.

The Total Beer Purchasers’ Index for October 2020 rose to 76 from 70 for October 2019.

The “at-risk inventory” index for total beer (inventory at risk of going out-of-code in the next 30 days) continues to record all-time low readings at 21 for October 2020 compared to 46 in October 2019.

NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones explained, “While still significantly higher, the gap between October 2020 and October 2019 is much smaller than we have seen since May. Beer distributors continue to take an aggressive stance in their ordering to minimize out-of-stocks and restock inventories.”

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 for October:

  • The index for FMBs/seltzers at 92 remains the strongest of all segments in the survey, with a smaller increase of 7-point increase over the 85 reading in October 2019.
  • The index for imports at 68 also remains in expansion territory for September 2020 and is also higher than last year’s reading of 64.
  • The craft index for October at 51 is slightly below the October 2019 reading of 55.
  • Across the domestic beer segments, premium lights and premium regulars continue to post historically high readings in October and continue on a 7-month streak. Premium lights at 67 remain significantly elevated compared to the 44 from October 2019. The premium regular segment posted a 53 reading in October 2020 relative to 29 in October 2019.
  • The below premium segment fell to 48, posting a below 50 reading for the first time since its May peak of 71. This is an indicator that orders are returning to normal for the industry.
  • The cider segment remains in contraction territory, posting a reading of 44 in October 2020 about the same reading for October 2019.