ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Today, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) released the Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) for May 2020.
Data for the May 2020 BPI was collected from May 10 through May 20, coinciding with continued on-premise closures and simultaneous increased sales in off-premise establishments. The total BPI for May rebounded to 66 after falling to 35 in April. The May 2020 reading stands four points higher than the May 2019 reading of 62. This is the largest single monthly swing the Total Beer Index has ever recorded.
BPI saw a significant rebound in the May index across all segments from April lows. Most notably, the below premium segment hit a record reading of 71 in May. At the same time, premium lights and below premiums saw significant jumps and are reporting higher index readings. The high-end segments of imports and craft also rebounded, along with the FMB/seltzer segment which returned to a 90 reading.
With many on-premise retail outlets slow to restart or still shut down, the “at-risk inventory” index (inventory at risk of going out of code in the next 30 days) for total beer remained elevated at 69 but was significantly below the reading of 80 in April 2020.
About NBWA's Beer Purchasers' Index: BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. 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.
Looking across the segments: