As the entire brewing industry contracted last year, perhaps it’s not too surprising that Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 1.3% decline in sales to the United States during the first quarter of this year. Also very likely, more Americans are happy to drink something else.
Even in the wake of acquiring popular craft beer brands such as Goose Island, Blue Point, and 10 Barrel, sales have flagged across the nation. It was reported earlier this year that their flagship lager, Budweiser, fell out of the top-three in overall sales in the US. But their pale lager, Bud Light, remains the top-selling beer in the country.
But the company’s presence is global and they reported an overall growth in sales at 2.5%. This largely credited to their growth in emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia. ABInBev also owns the Stella Artois brand, and their sales increased 12%, thanks largely to demand in the United Kingdom and Argentina.
The company is also sponsoring this year’s World Cup and they’re counting on big ad dollars to pump up in sales in participating countries.
Even with a tick upwards in overall growth, the company reported negative earnings, and their stock (BUD) is down 10% for the year. Another brewing giant, Molson Coors, also reported a decline in sales, and their stock (TAP) has fallen 25% for the year.
But not all big brands are down. Constellation Brands (STZ), owners of Corona, Modelo, Ballast Point, and Funky Buddha, reported growth for the year. And after a rough few months, Boston Beer Company, owner of Samuel Adams, reported an 18% growth this year. Their stock (SAM) performance has responded accordingly.
Regardless, the trend in America is that consumers are turning away from Big Beer for the more diversified and flavorful choices found in craft beer. To which we should all hoist a pint in acknowledgment. Dilly Dilly!