Beer Purchasers’ Index

About the Beer Purchasers’ Index

By: Lester Jones, NBWA Vice President, Analytics and Chief Economist

The NBWA Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) is an informal monthly statistical release giving distributors a timely and reliable indicator of industry beer purchasing activity. BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for the industry to measure expected beer demand (one month forward) in the marketplace. Similar to the widely recognized Purchasing Managers’ Index, the BPI is a net-rising index and a leading indicator of industry performance based on survey responses from participating beer purchasers. The index surveys beer distributors’ purchases across different segments and compares them to that of previous years’ purchases. A reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting.

The Latest Data

Following the highest Beer Purchasers’ Index reading since 2021, the May index continues to show a steady build-up of distributor inventory as the industry prepares for summer.

The BPI remained deep in expansion territory at 63, an 11-point increase from May 2023 and identical to last month’s reading. The combined readings of expansionary BPI and contracting at-risk inventory — which remained below the benchmark (50) at 47, down from 61 in May 2023 — indicate a positive outlook for the warm weather selling season.

Five segments recorded positive year-over-year growth, led by 16- and 10-point jumps for FMB/Seltzer and Premium Regular, respectively. However, the Craft segment continues to struggle, seeing its 27th straight month of contraction.

Looking across the segments for May:

  • The index for imports continues to point to expanding volumes with an May 2024 reading of 72, three points lower than the May 2023 reading of 75.
  • The craft index at 32 for May 2024 continues to signal contraction in this segment; the current reading is seven points lower than the May 2023 reading at 39.
  • The premium lights index remains in expansionary territory at 54 for May 2024, five points higher than the May 2023 reading of 49.
  • The premium regular index remains in expansionary territory at 53 for May 2024, a 10-point increase from the May 2023 reading of 43.
  • The below premium segment for May 2024 reading of 50 is exactly the same as May 2023.
  • The FMB/seltzer reading for May 2024 of 42 is significantly higher than the May 2023 reading at 26.
  • Finally, the cider segment posted an May 2024 reading of 31 compared to 29 for May 2023.

Beer Distributors

Please sign up to participate and receive the first and only advance notice of expectations for increasing or decreasing sales. Complete the form below using your company’s primary beer purchaser’s contact information. For additional information, please email bpi@nbwa.org.

Beer Distributor Expectations Sign Up

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