US on-trade beer sales are suffering, out of all categories

US on-trade beer sales are suffering, out of all categories

On-trade alcohol volumes in the US fell last month to nearly their lowest level of the year, with beer seeing the biggest drop, latest figures show.

Volumes across all categories in bars and restaurants in the four weeks to 1 December fell by 4.2% year-on-year, tracking firm Guestmetrics reported yesterday (10 December). This follows a 3.7% drop in volumes in the third quarter of 2013. 

Beer suffered the worst last month, with volumes falling 5.5% in the four weeks, Guestmetrics said. The drop was mostly seen in bars and clubs and casual dining outlets, while fine dining restaurants saw some improvement for the category.

However, it appears to be big beer brands that are dragging down the figures, as smaller producers make up ground.

In spirits, volumes fell by 3.8% in the four-week period, with only February being a weaker month, Guestmetrics said. However, category volumes recovered slightly in bars and clubs, down by 3.6%, compared to a 4.3% fall in the same period last year.

On-trade wine volumes suffered the least, down by 1.6% year-on-year in November.