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

America’s beer distributors reported continued year-over-year improvement for nearly all market segments, led by a nearly 20-point upward swing for the flavored malted beverage/hard seltzer category.

In an inverse of January 2023, in which only one segment (Below Premium) recorded a higher reading compared to the previous year, the January 2024 report shows increased YoY ordering volumes for all segments except Below Premium. This marks the eighth straight month in which at least five of the seven measured segments saw increased ordering compared to the previous year.

The readings for all categories except Imports remain below the contraction line (50), with the BPI (43) and at-risk inventory (42) measures indicating that ordering levels remain cautious as the industry puts a turbulent 2023 in the rearview mirror.

Looking across the segments for January:

  • The index for imports continues to point to expanding volumes with January 2024 reading at 59 higher than January 2023 reading of 52.
  • The craft index at 28 for January 2024 continues to signal contraction in this segment; however, it is slightly higher than the January 2023 reading of 21.
  • The premium light index is mostly flat at 38 for January 2024 compared to the January 2023 reading of 37.
  • The premium regular index rose to 43 for January 2024, above the January 2023 reading of 27.
  • The below premium segment for January 2024 fell to 33 from 48 and is the only segment lower than its January 2023 reading.
  • The FMB/seltzer reading for January 2024 of 35 is higher than the January 2023 reading of 18.
  • Finally, the cider segment posted a January 2024 reading of 30 compared to 26 for January 2023.

Beer Distributors

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