...Anheuser Busch was at the forefront of an acceleration in the long-term decline of so-called domestic-premium brands, which include Bud Light and rivals Miller Light and Coors Light, Steinman said. Anheuser Busch, owned by global conglomerate AB InBev, also suffered from a decline in hard seltzers — a category in which it has long dominated.
The beer industry also now finds itself competing against a surge of new alcohol products, many from non-traditional producers, said Lester Jones, vice president, analytics and chief economist at the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
"For example, some of the world’s largest soft drink and energy companies introduced sugar-forward alcohol beverages to the market, all of which are vying for the same consumer occasions as traditional malt- and hop-forward products," he said in an email.
Yet even as overall volume consumption declined, the largest beer makers remain financially resilient thanks to prices that climbed alongside — or even surpassed — broader inflation, Steinman said. Beer drinkers also continued to shift toward more expensive beer brands, especially imports like Modelo Especial, which became the No. 1 beer in America in 2023.
And beer sales in other parts of the world continue to remain strong, Steinman said.
"With prices going up, dollar sales have continued to grow and profits have been rising," he said.