Super Bowl draft beer consumption declined 1.3% in 2020 compared to last year’s game day, according to technology company BeerBoard, which tracks on-premise sales.
“The game on the field came down to the last few minutes, keeping viewers engaged throughout,” BeerBoard said in a press release. “This didn’t translate to more beer poured, though.”
BeerBoard manages data from over $1 billion in draft sales of more than 45,000 products annually at on-premise chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters as well as on-premise sales for international brewers and craft brewers such as Heineken, Lagunitas, Diageo, Yuengling, New Belgium, Shiner, Stone and Pabst.
As an official sponsor of Super Bowl LIV, Anheuser-Busch InBev had exclusivity over nationally aired commercials. The company, which has created about 10% of all ads shown during the game over its 40-year tenure as a sponsor, aired commercials for Budweiser, Bud Light Seltzer, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.
At on-premise accounts Beer Board tracks, Michelob Ultra volume sales increased 28.7% over last year. A-B supported Michelob Ultra during the game with a star-studded commercial featuring Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon working out with WWE star John Cena, Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt, pro golfer Brooks Koepka and pro beach volleyball star and Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Bud Light, which was only a supporting player in A-B’s Bud Light Seltzer ad featuring rapper Post Malone and in a Tide commercial featuring actors Charlie Day and Emily Hampshire, saw its BeerBoard-tracked volume decrease 22%. Competitors Coors Light (+10.9%) and Miller Lite (+9.3%) were both up. However, these increases could not compensate for Bud Light’s loss and light lagers decreased by 1.2%.
The world’s largest beer manufacturer supported its flagship Budweiser with a commercial directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow. Titled “Typical American,” the ad juxtaposed ordinary people’s actions with American stereotypes. “Look at him, touching other people’s things,” the commercial’s narrator said over video of a man pushing a car stuck in snow and waving goodbye to its driver after it was freed.
“Nationally, Bud was down a modest 2.1% as compared to 2019,” BeerBoard communications director J.C. Whipple told Brewbound in an email. “In Miami, the host city, Bud was +127% over Super Sunday in 2019.”
Craft beer sales on-premise grew 3% over last year’s Super Bowl Sunday. Leading the way was Lagunitas IPA, which saw a volume increase of 26%. IPAs’ overall volume grew 28%.
“No other IPAs trended of note,” Whipple said. “Lagunitas was by far the driver within the style.”
Other styles that performed well include lagers, which grew 6.7% led by Mexican imports. Constellation Brands’ Modelo’s volume increased 27% and Heineken’s Dos Equis’ volume increased 7.3%.
The cities of the competing teams historically see off-premise beer sales increase as people prepare to host and attend watch parties. Last year when the New England Patriots played the Los Angeles Rams, beer depletions (sales to retailers) in the Boston and Los Angeles markets spiked about 20%, according to National Beer Wholesalers Association chief economic Lester Jones. Boston-based alcohol on-demand delivery platform Drizly said that orders increased in both cities on Super Bowl Sunday last year.
This year, BeerBoard reported on-premise beer sales grew 21.3% in Kansas City, but beer sales were about flat in San Francisco, down about 3%.
In Miami, where Super Bowl LIV was played, beer sales volume increased 11.4% over last year’s Super Bowl Sunday, when the game was played in Atlanta. Atlanta’s on-premise draft volume decreased 16.4% compared last year.
In addition to the Chiefs, other winners in Miami on Sunday included Budweiser (+127%), Michelob Ultra (+62%), Bud Light (+23%) and Yuengling (+18%).