The Beer Institute (BI) published its estimate of domestic tax paid shipments by beer brewers for August 2023. It was another poor performance in a year that has consistently been down compared to 2022. Only one month this year has shown growth.
BI estimates showed a decrease of 5.1% in August compared to August 2022. The monthly estimate was 14,200,000 barrels compared to August 2022 removals of 14,969,444.
Year-to-date shipments are now down by 6.2% through August compared to the same period in 2022. The only month of growth was in February with an increase of 1.0%.
Concern continues to elevate over the health of the beer category among industry members. Manufacturers are looking at diversifying into a broader spectrum of both non-traditional beer beverages and non-alcohol drinks. And retailers are increasingly shrinking the space dedicated to beer and adding alternatives.
Beer wholesalers, who are more dependent on beer, are feeling squeezed as well. At the 86th annual National Beer Wholesalers Association conference in Las Vegas last week, NBWA president and CEO Craig Purser declared a “five-alarm” concern over the declining beer segment. In a recent NBWA member poll, the number one concern, by far, was the health of the beer category.
All eyes will be on the fourth quarter to see if beer can pull out of the 2023 doldrums.