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The Beer Industry Faces Continuing Declines Shedding Almost 40 Million Cases Within a Decade, According to the 2023 Beer Handbook

The Beer Industry Faces Continuing Declines Shedding Almost 40 Million Cases Within a Decade, According to the 2023 Beer Handbook

Marina Velez | September 21, 2023

Minneapolis, Minn., (September 21, 2023) – The U.S. Beer industry decreased case sales by -2.5% in 2022 to 2.81 billion 2.25-gallon cases as only three beer segments—imported, flavored malt beverages (FMBs) and craft--achieved any volume growth. Growth levels within imported and FMBs were not able to offset the decline of other domestic beer categories. Total domestic beer ended 2022 at 2.26 billion 2.25-gallon cases which accounted for an 80.3% share of the overall category. Imported beer did experience a 2.7% increase in growth, the highest of any category. Imported beer represented the second largest category within the overall American beer market in 2022 (behind the light beer segment) at 19.7% share of the market.

“Volume consumption within the beer industry has been flat or declining over the last ten years. For perspective, since 2014 the beer industry has shed 36.4 million cases and remains in a precarious position within beverage alcohol from a competitive standpoint”, says Marina Velez, Research Director at the Beverage Information Group.

The downward trajectory for beer has been accelerated by the share loss of drinking occasions to the spirits and wine categories. The distilled spirits industry has been making a concerted effort to actively target beer’s main demographic, especially from the rapidly rising tequila, straights, and the Ready-to-Drink categories. In 2022, growth in U.S. spirits consumption outpaced beer by 5.4%. Although the total wine industry contracted -2.1% in 2022, the Champagne and Sparkling category has been effectively expanding its appeal beyond just celebratory events to everyday opportunities typically associated with beer.  

The imported beer category has added over 276 million 2.25-gallon cases since 2003. Although growth levels decelerated in 2022, imports advanced for the 12th consecutive year which the category has posted gains in volume consumption.

Three import brands were positioned within the top 50 of the Leading 100 Beer Brands tracked—Modelo Especial, Corona Extra and Heineken. Modelo Especial, the top-selling imported beer, continued to outpace Corona while expanding its category share to 32.3%. Since 2004, Modelo has achieved yearly consecutive growth, mainly at double-digit levels, growing at an average rate of 17.0% through 2022.

Mexican brands continue to dominate the import segment with a 75.8% share of the category. Seven out of the top-10 leading imported brands are from Mexico while twelve comprise the top-20. Imported beers, especially Mexican, tap into multiple trends currently driving sales, including craft, quality, and authenticity. This has helped imported beers transcend their root cultural demos to become a multicultural success in America, attracting consumers of all backgrounds and ages.

About the 2023 Beer Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2023 Beer Handbook is a comprehensive source of information on U.S. beer trends. It includes volume consumption information by category and market, tracks leading brands, and reports historical data.

Order this publication at or by contacting Sherai Falcon at or 763-383-4400 ext. 4423.

about the author

Marina Velez

Research Director, EPG Specialty Information

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