Americans Aren’t Drinking These Beers Anymore

We’ve covered recently how beer just isn’t the best selling drink in the world; that honor goes to soju. Wine and liquor are partners with beer on the secondary list of drinks globally, but for America, it’s clear that beer is easily one of the most popular drinks, fitting everywhere from a case as you watch a football game with friends to a post-work pint with friends at a bar.

USA Today has reported that nine particular beers have started to disappear from the taste buds of Americans. While many of these are iconic for your fridge (or in many cases, the one belonging in your parent’s house) and staples for bars, their drop-off isn’t wholly unexpected.

These beers have had significant drop-off in the past five years.

  • Labatt Blue- Dropped 28.3%
  • Budweiser- Dropped 28.8%
  • Heineken Premium Light- 36.7%
  • Milwaukee’s Best Light- 39.7%
  • Old Milwaukee- 54%
  • Miller Genuine Draft- 56.4%
  • Milwuakee’s Best Premium- 58.5%
  • Budweiser Select- 61.5%
  • Michelob Light- 69.6%

Two trends are relatively clear from looking at these numbers. Bud Light and Bud Platinum, a markedly lighter option and a stronger option, are doing better than the mid-range traditional Budweiser. Notably, Bud Light actually has less alcohol by volume and more calories and Budweiser Select. In addition to this, Milwaukee is no longer particularly strong of a brand when it comes to labeling beers, given that three of the top nine beers losing interest in bars have Milwaukee in the title.

The article goes more into depth on each brand and drink, and why they’re not selling as well anymore. Labatt Blue has also had sales drop in Canada, while Budweiser has been succeeded by Bud Light in the eyes of many, yet Heineken drinkers apparently prefer non-light beers. Michelob appears to be the biggest brand on the downslide, and while Ultra is growing, the others in the brand are being hit hard.

How does this affect you and your restaurant? Many of these beers aren’t exactly targeting the younger and more affluent market; instead, flavored drinks like Redd’s Apple Ale and flavor-infused vodkas are on the rise. Craft beers have become a dominating force when it comes to local markets, as people can grab a bottle of something that was made more lovingly and personably than something from a major manufacturer, and they’re supporting a local business that’s endeavoring to do something creative.

If you can take anything from these downslopes, you might want to look at your own inventory and see if these particular brands haven’t been selling well for you. If they have, there will always be an outlier, but if not, you may want to see about taking these beers off your menu. If they’re not selling, you’re just wasting valuable shelf and storage space and not taking full advantage of the options you have. Try some new beers, and maybe replace Michelob Light with a brand that might have a future.