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 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. Data for the June 2020 Beer Purchasers' Index was collected from June 10 through June 19, coinciding with continued on-premise closures and simultaneous increased sales in off-premise establishments.

Around the country, beer distributors are reacting to significant changes in consumer demand and working to meet unprecedented challenges in the marketplace. The total Beer Purchasers' Index for June 2020 reached an all-time high mark of 81, significantly above last year's reading of 48 in June 2019. Ahead of a July 4th load-in to retail and reported shortages for some popular packages, the "at-risk inventory” index for total beer (inventory at risk of going out of code in the next 30 days) fell to an all-time low reading of 27 in June 2020 from 49 in June 2019. In summary, beer distributors have taken an aggressive stance in their ordering to ensure there will be ample supply of beer heading into the hot summer months of 2020.

Looking across the segments: ​ 

  • The FMB/seltzer segment continues to produce the highest BPI readings across all segments. The FMB/seltzer index hit 94 for June 2020 and is well above the June 2019 reading of 68. 
  • The index for imports at 66 continued into expansion territory for June 2020 and is higher than the June 2019 reading of 54. The higher BPI for imports follows several months of Mexico’s mandatory closures of brewing.
  • The craft index for June at 46 remains slightly below the 50 break-even index reported in June 2019.
  • Premium lights, regulars and below premiums all posted record high readings in June and continue a 3-month streak reporting higher index readings relative to high-end segments of craft and imports. Premium lights at 75 hit another record compared to 36 for June 2019. Premium regular segment posted a 62 reading in June 2020 relative to 28 in June 2019. The below premium segment at 65 was also significantly higher than the June 2019 reading of 30.
  • The cider segment remains in contraction territory, falling to 37 in June 2020 from 43 at the same time last year.


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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