Craft Retail Dollars up 20% On 18% Volume Growth During June/July

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It was a good Fourth of July for craft beer. In the July 14th four-week scan data released by the IRI group on July 25th, craft volume accelerated, showing an 18.4% increase from the same period a year ago. That raised craft’s year-to-date volume increase up to 15.2%, up from 14.4% a month ago. Craft retail dollars also increased by 20.2% for the period, and are up 17.5% year-to-date. All beer volume is still down -1.1% YTD in the IRI numbers, even after a four-week period that saw a slight uptick of 0.2% from the same period a year ago.

Some of this acceleration may have been driven by slightly lower prices, as the price per case of craft in the IRI data dropped 21 cents from the previous month, down to $33.41. The YTD price is still showing an increase of 2.1% from the previous year, so it is likely that any decreases represent Fourth of July sales rather than the beginning of a longer-term slide in craft prices. That 2.1% YTD is just slightly above the U.S. inflation rate of 1.8% through June. The total beer category saw a slight price increase during the month of 6 cents, largely driven by the growing market share of craft and domestic super premium, and declines in the lower priced domestic premium and domestic sub-premium categories and is up 2.7% year-to-date.

For the four-week period, craft was up 0.8 share points for dollars and 0.6 share points for volume compared to a year ago. These are similar to the year-to-date numbers, where craft is up 0.8 share points in dollar sales and 0.5 share points in volume. The other gainers include domestic super premium and imports, which are collectively up 0.7 share points for dollars and 0.7 share points in volume. These increases have come at the expense of  the low and middle sections of the beer industry, together down -2.9 share points in dollars YTD versus a year ago and -2.1 share in volume.

Perhaps not surprisingly, craft’s growth was led by the IPA style, up 39.1% by volume against a YA both during the 4-week period and YTD. The IPA style has decisively taken the top spot in the IRI data away from Seasonals, which are up a more modest 12.3% YTD. Blonde, Kolsch, and other Golden Ales showed the strongest growth of the large craft categories, with sales for the period up 76.8% on a year ago. Variety packs also continued their strong run, up 27.4% in volume against a year ago for the period, and are up 21.6% by dollars, and 21.3% for the year.

Here’s summary of these craft figures from the SIG report for Multi-Outlet and Convenience Stores:

  • 4 Weeks to July 14, 2013: 18.4% volume growth versus YA; 20.2% dollar growth. (All beer +0.2/+3.3)
  • Year-to-Date 2013: 15.2% volume growth; 17.5% dollar growth. (All beer -1.1/+1.6)
  • 52 Weeks to July 14, 2013: 14.1% volume growth; 17.2% dollar growth. (All beer 0.0/+2.7)
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