Americans last year continued to lose their thirst for Bud.
The flagship brew of Anheuser-Busch InBev saw US shipments of the famous lager fall to 14.4 million barrels last year — down 60 percent from the 35.2 million barrels it shipped in 1988, its peak year, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
“Consumers first shifted to light beers, and now they’re shifting to imported and craft beers,” BMI President Benj Steinman told The Post.
Long ago, the light trend made Bud Light the best-selling beer in the country — but even that brand has been a bit flat.
Its shipments are down 15 percent since 2008, to 35.2 million barrels last year.
Overall, Anheuser-Busch InBev said Thursday that third-quarter US revenue for the entire Budweiser brand fell 2.2 percent — while it grew 4.4 percent outside of the country.
“They’ve really been pushing Bud out globally,” Steinman said. “But in the US, it’s become an older brand with a less popular style.”
AB InBev also reported that US sales for all of its brands, including Beck’s, Corona and Stella Artois, fell 5.6 percent.
“We can’t remember a quarter as bad,” Trevor Stirling, the Sanford C. Bernstein analyst, wrote in an update.
The dismal performance in the US — the Belgian brewer’s largest market — sent AB InBev shares down 1 percent, to $120.41.
The poor domestic showing could follow AB InBev overseas.
The International Wines and Spirits Record calculated the global market for all alcoholic drinks contracted 1.3 percent in 2016 — far greater than the average decline of 0.3 percent in the previous five years.
Beer led that decline by falling 1.8 percent.
By Richard Morgan
October 26, 2017
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