Today, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for April 2019. The index surveys beer distributors’ purchases across different segments and compares them to previous years. A reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting. The April 2019 Beer Purchasers' Index at 59.3 for total beer rose well above the April 2018 index of 53.5. This marks the fourth month in 2019 that the BPI has surpassed readings from recent years, suggesting the industry is in slightly better health in 2019. Looking across the segments:
- The index for imports continues to indicate expanding volumes with an April index at 61.4. This is a lower reading from the April 2018 index of 69.3, but still in positive territory.
- The craft index at 58.9 is above last year’s reading of 52.1. This index indicates a continued expansion in volumes in 2019.
- Premium lights, premium regulars and below premiums all posted slightly higher readings for April relative to last year. All three segments continue to struggle with below 50 index readings.
- The flavored malt beverage/progressive adult beverage (FMB/PAB)segment continues to break the upper boundaries with an index of 78.6, significantly above the 60.3 reading from April 2018. The April reading marks another record-breaking index for the category.
- The cider segment took a breather for a second straight month from expansion territory with an April 2019 reading of 46.8. This is still well above the 40.4 index from April 2018.
- The “At Risk” inventory measures for total beer at 56.3 is a few points higher than the April 2018 reading of 55.1. This month continues a trend of slightly higher readings for each month of 2019.
The May 2019 BPI survey is running from May 10 through May 17. Results will be released to participating distributors on May 20.