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08.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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archivedOnBeerReport

NO FIZZ FOR US BEER MARKET

Domestic beer seems to have lost its mojo. Wine and spirits may be holding their own these days but there’s still no love happening for the US mainstream beer industry. Beer makers have seen their domestic sales volume slump for some time as the tough economy took an added toll on its core customers. The key market of men 21- to 34-years-old has been hard hit by high unemployment cutting into their buying power. Companies have raised prices to offset slower sales and the market will eventually recover, said analyst Jason DeRise. But beer makers need that volume recovery for long-term survival. And right now it’s not there: US domestic beer shipments fell 2.7 percent in May, compared to the prior year. Adding to the woes is the seemingly unstoppable growth of craft beers in the US. Hopefully, the economy will improve and domestics will get some of their fizz back. Competition from crafts, however, doesn’t appear likely to go away.

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