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
The beer industry is closing a turbulent year with signs of a more stable and predictable ordering environment, reflected in a 13-point YoY jump for the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) to 51. Coupled with an At Risk Inventory measure of 42, indicating low inventory levels, the data suggests a neutral stance for the industry — a marked improvement over the contractionary reading from last year.
Ordering trends were positive for six of the seven measured segments, led by 18-point and 12-point YoY increases for Premium Regular and Premium Lights, respectively. The Imports segment continued its strong year with a 10-point jump from November 2022.
Looking across the segments for November:
- The index for imports continues to point to expanding volumes with the November 2023 reading at 69 higher than the November 2022 reading of 59.
- The craft index at 26 for November 2023 continues to signal contraction in this segment; the tally is about the same as the November 2022 reading at 25.
- The premium light index rose to 53 for November 2023, above the November 2022 reading at 41.
- The premium regular index rose to 48 for November 2023 above the November 2022 reading at 30.
- The below premium segment for November 2023 fell to 39 and is lower than November 2022 reading at 47.
- The FMB/seltzer reading for November 2023 at 25 is higher than the November 2022 reading at 16.
- Finally, the cider segment posted a November 2023 reading at 30 compared to 28 for November 2022.
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