GuestMetrics: IPAs Continue to Capture On-Premise Share

The craft beer category continued to capture on-premise market share in the third quarter despite what GuestMetrics calls the “weakest” of the year for all alcohol categories.

According to the on-premise data supplier, on-premise beer volumes are down 5.2 percent in the last four weeks and 3.7 year-to-date. In fact, over the last four weeks, beer lost 50 basis points of share to all other alcoholic beverages.

But while premium light offerings continue their declines at bars and restaurants — they were off about 12 percent in the third quarter — craft beer and cider beverages continued to post positive numbers. Compared to last year’s third quarter results, craft is up 3.4 percent and cider is up 52 percent.

Driving much of craft’s on-premise growth are India Pale Ales (IPA), which have gained 110 basis points this year. The same is true off-premise, where IPAs — the best-selling craft style — are up 43.8 percent in IRI-tracked multi-outlet retail chains and convenience stores.

The complete press release from GuestMetrics is included below.

According to GuestMetrics, 3Q13 was the weakest of the year thus far for all three of the alcohol categories, and 4Q13 is likely off to a soft start as well.

In the latest 4wks ending 10/6, on-premise beer volumes were down 5.2%. This compares to volumes down 3.7% YTD. In the most recent 4 weeks, beer lost 50 basis points of share of total alcoholic beverages, in line with the 50 basis point share loss YTD.

Beer volume share is down 50bps vs. total alcohol beverage in the on-premise channel in the latest 4 weeks while wine share is up 30bps and spirits share is up 20bps. From a value stand point, beer share is down 40bps while wine is share is flat (due to lower price increases) and spirits value share is up 40bps.

Beer volumes in bars/clubs have been particularly difficult, declining 8.1% in the most recent 4 weeks vs. -4.7% year-to-date. Beer is losing the largest y/y share of alcohol mix in bars/clubs, down 80 basis points year-to-date. Beer volumes in casual dining are down 5.3% in the latest 4 weeks vs. -4.1% in YTD and beer is losing 30 basis points market share YTD. In fine dining, beer volumes are down 1.5% in the latest 4wks vs. -0.8% year-to-date and is losing 40 basis points market share YTD.

The only two with beer segments with positive volume growth in 3Q compared to the prior year are craft at +3.4% and cider at +52% (both growing significantly slower than in off-premise due to the overall traffic declines in on-premise as well as the higher share base both enjoy in the on-premise vs. off-premise). Premium Light has had a difficult year, going from -10% in 1Q to -9% in 2Q to -12% in 3Q. Premium Regular volumes were -6% during the first half of the year, but decelerated to -8% in 3Q, and Imports have been down mid-single digits for most of the year.

Despite the moderating volume growth in craft, its year-over-year gain in beer volume share has steadily increased throughout the year, from 150 basis points in 1Q to 170 basis points in 2Q to 190 basis points in 3Q. Cider has gained about 40-50 basis points of y/y share during each of the quarters, while Imports lost 70 basis points in 1Q, 60 basis points in 2Q, and only 40 basis points in 3Q.

From a style standpoint, IPA continues to gain the most share (up 110bps) along with Bitter Ale (up 40bps), and Belgian Wit Ale (up 30bps) and the seasonal Pumpkin/Fruit (up 60bps).

In the latest 4 weeks the brands with the greatest share gains are Angry Orchard, Redds Apple Ale, Lagunitas IPA and Dos Equis. Brands gaining the greatest gains in distribution in the latest 4 weeks (% of locations carrying) are Angry Orchard, Redds Apple Ale, Bud Black Crown, Goose Island, Lagunitas, and Third Shift.

About GuestMetrics LLC

GuestMetrics, LLC is revolutionizing how the hospitality industry operates. Despite the dawn of the Digital Age having begun more than three decades ago, the hospitality industry essentially functions the same way it did centuries before. GuestMetrics has cracked the code by collecting billion dollars in sales from tens of thousands of restaurants, and turning billions of raw transactions into intelligible data that is fundamentally transforming the business operations of everyone from the independently-owned bar/restaurant on the corner, to multi-national chains, to the food & beverage companies that supply them. Please visit for more information and to arrange for a free demonstration.

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