On-trade craft beer volume growth appears to be stalling

On-trade craft beer volume growth appears to be stalling

Craft beer volumes in the US on-trade have slipped this Autumn, according to latest figures. 

Between September and November this year, volumes among around 5,700 craft brands in the country fell by an average of 6% on the prior year, according to tracking firm Restaurant Sciences. Worst hit were “family dining establishments”, with volumes down by 13%, then “white tablecloth restaurants” where volumes slid by 10%. “Casual dining restaurants, bars and nightclubs” saw craft beer volumes down by 4% in the three months, the figures showed. 

Around 70% of craft beer's decline was in draught volume sales, Restaurant Sciences said.

“The weakness in craft beer volume sales could be due to a number of factors,” said Chuck Ellis, president & CEO of Restaurant Sciences. “Consumers may be balking at price increases in the 3% to 7% range this Fall across restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

“Additionally, restaurants and bars may have reached a saturation point in adding new beers to an already hyper-competitive shelf or tap set.”

The number of craft beer brands sold in the US on-trade has fallen 19% compared to a year ago, the company said, although new brands are still being introduced “daily”. 

Last month, Guestmetrics,  another on-trade tracking firm, reported that big beer brands were still losing share to craft offerings in the US

To read further analysis of the US craft beer sector, click here.