Beer Purchasers' Index | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

Beer Purchasers' Index

The NBWA Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) is an informal monthly statistical release giving distributors a timely and reliable indicator of industry beer purchasing activity. BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. Similar to the widely recognized Purchasing Managers’ Index, the BPI is a net-rising index and a leading indicator of industry performance based on surveyed responses from participating beer purchasers. 

The October Beer Purchaser’s Index continues to indicate more disruptions in the beer market. However, there are some early signs of settling back to normal in the data. The Total Beer Purchasers' Index for October 2020 rose to 76 from 70 for October 2019. While still significantly higher, the gap between the current month and prior year is much smaller than we have seen since May.

The "at-risk inventory” index for total beer (inventory at risk of going out-of-code in the next 30 days) continues to record all-time low readings at 21 for October 2020 compared to 46 in October 2019. Beer distributors continue to take an aggressive stance in their ordering to minimize out-of-stocks and restock inventories.

Looking across the segments for October:

  • The index for FMBs/seltzers at 92 remains the strongest of all segments in the survey, with a smaller 7-point increase over the 85 reading in October 2019. 
  • The index for imports at 68 also remains in expansion territory for October 2020 and is also higher than last year’s reading of 64. 
  • The craft index for October at 51 is slightly below the October 2019 reading of 55.
  • Across the domestic beer segments, premium lights and premium regulars continue to post historically high readings in October and continue on a 7-month streak. Premium lights at 67 remain significantly elevated compared to the 44 from October 2019. The premium regular segment posted a 53 reading in October 2020 relative to 29 in October 2019.
  • The below premium segment fell to 48, posting a below 50 reading for the first time since May's peak of 71. This is an indicator that orders are returning to normal for the industry.
  • The cider segment remains in contraction territory, posting a reading of 44 in October 2020 about the same reading for October 2019.

Beer Distributors: Please sign up to participate and receive the first and only advance notice of expectations for increasing or decreasing sales. Complete the form below using your company’s primary beer purchaser’s contact information. For additional information, please email

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