Booze News: Beer Sales Decline, But Don’t Panic Yet

Like a thundering herd of wildebeests, the Superbowl is upon us once again. And while the game itself has a decent chance of being entertaining, you know that tomorrow morning all the coverage will be on the commercials. What worked, what didn’t, and on and on and on. Anheuser-Busch will, of course, continue its proud tradition of selling Budweiser and Bud Light via monosyllabic frogs, annoying lizards, and farting horses. But will it matter? Maybe not. From Marketwatch:

U.S. beer sales have declined in recent years and aren’t showing many signs of improving, according to a new report by consumer research firm Mintel. There were 2.79 billion cases of beer sold in 2013, broadly flat compared with the 2.78 billion cases sold in 2012 and down from 2.9 billion cases sold five years ago. And, worse, beer sales are expected to rise by just 4% to 2.89 billion cases within the next four years. Baby boomers—many of whom don’t drink as much as they did when they were younger—are one reason for the lack of growth in beer sales in recent years, the research finds, and young adults in 2014 account for a smaller share of the population than boomers and retirees.

Ah, but one not need panic just yet. Those stats may be reason for Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors to worry, but beer with actual flavor ain’t doing so bad.

Craft beers have helped prevent stagnation in the overall beer market: 1,000 new brands launched last year, many at higher prices…  Although the volume of beer sold has been virtually flat, Mintel forecasts that because of price increases, U.S. sales of beer will rise from $83 billion in 2013 to $95 billion in 2018, a 2.4% increase, adjusting for inflation. Samuel Adams Boston Lager increased its volume of beer sold by 2% in 2012, reaching nearly 15 million cases.

Read the whole thing here. And stay away from terrible beer, regardless of how sappy those damn horse ads are.