Nielsen CGA Report Examines On-Premise Volume Trends in 10 US Cities

A recent report from Nielsen CGA that examined the state of on-premise beer sales in the United States found that San Francisco was one of the best cities to easily find a pint of craft beer.

According to the report — which tapped into sales and distribution data across 10 major U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa Bay – craft beer accounts for more than 42 percent of the on-premise volume share in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, imported beer makes up nearly 36 percent of San Francisco’s on-premise volume, meaning that only about 20 percent of all beer sold at bars and restaurants in that market comes from major domestic producers like Anheuser-Busch of MillerCoors.

Out east, in Miami, craft accounts for just 19.3 percent of the on-premise beer volume, but it is growing faster than all other markets Nielsen CGA examined.

“It is Miami that stands out as the market which shows the most opportunity to grow within craft,” the company wrote in the report, noting that on-premise craft beer sales grew 9.1 percent during the 52-week period ending October 6.

Further north, in Boston, craft beer’s share of the market is nearly 42 percent, but its volume trends dipped 1.4 percent over the last 52 weeks, which Nielsen CGA attributed to “possible saturation.”

Across all 10 markets, craft beer makes up 30 percent of the beer sold on-premise, while domestic premium beers make up 35.8 percent and import beers make up 19.6 percent.

On-premise volume share for domestic premium beer was in decline over the 52-week period in all 10 cities that Nielsen CGA studied. In New York, where domestic premium beers make up just 19.7 percent of on-premise volume, sales of those offerings were down 7.6 percent.

“With consumers increasingly looking ‘local’ in their out of home choices, having a strong read of individual markets has never been more important in this competitive on-premise channel,” Nielsen CGA’s Matthew Crompton said via a press release.

Additional insights are available in the release below.


According to Nielsen CGA’s New OPM Beer 2.0 Data: When it Comes to Volume Share in the U.S., San Francisco Takes Top Spot for Craft Beer, Tampa Leads in Domestic Premium and Los Angeles is the Top Market for Import.

Nielsen CGA recently launched On Premise Measurement (OPM) Beer 2.0, the first comprehensive, regional on-premise view of the U.S. Beer Market. Expanding on Nielsen CGA’s on-premise measurement service, OPM Beer 2.0 will enable companies to gain deeper, state-level data on beer sales dynamics within U.S. bars and restaurants.

Nielsen CGA’s On Premise Measurement (OPM) offers a unique and robust view of On Premise consumption dynamics across America. Four new major, beverage alcohol markets have been added to Nielsen CGA’s regional measurement domain: Miami, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Seattle. With this enhanced view of the U.S. On premise marketplace, companies within the beverage alcohol industry will now be able to track volume sales, value sales, distribution and price across 10 important US cities. Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and New York were all previously available through Nielsen CGA.

Matt Crompton, Client Director at Nielsen CGA:

“With consumers increasingly looking ‘local’ in their out of home choices, having a strong read of individual markets has never been more important in this competitive On Premise channel, said Matt Crompton, Client Director at Nielsen CGA. “When combined with NCGA’s local POS and CLIP data – clients are genuinely able to understand local market dynamics on a level never seen before in the industry. We are delighted to be able to launch OPM Beer 2.0 to the market to help our clients continue to achieve sustainable growth in this demanding market.”

An early look into Nielsen CGA’s new OPM Beer 2.0 data shows a ranked regional list of volume share in the U.S. for Domestic Premium, Craft and Import. Focusing on segment breakdown across the major markets, the latest Nielsen CGA data reveals:


Within Nielsen CGA OPM Beer 2.0 tracked outlets, Tampa has the highest volume share of Domestic Premium Beer at 56.5%, over 20% higher than Total US while San Francisco share is down at 17.3%, almost 20% down vs Total US. Although Tampa has by far the biggest volume share in Domestic Premium, it has the smallest volume decline vs YA at -3.7% showing that despite the size of the segment there is still room for growth in this market. However, New York experiences the biggest volume decline vs YA at -7.6% which shows that although share of beer is 20% below Total US level, the Domestic Premium market looks to be saturated within this city and growth is likely to come from elsewhere. The same can also be said for Dallas, despite a volume share slightly above Total US, decline is at -6.0% again showing saturation in the market. On the other hand, there looks to be an opportunity for growth in Los Angeles Domestic Premium due to a low volume share coupled with a decline lower than at Total US level, this segment should be the focus for growth in this city.


When looking at the Craft segment, the cities performing well are the opposite to Domestic Premium. Within Nielsen CGA OPM Beer 2.0 tracked outlets, San Francisco takes the top spot with a 42.6% volume share. However, it is Miami that stands out as the market which shows the most opportunity to grow within Craft. With a volume share 19.3%, well down on Total US and a market growth of 9.1%, well above Total US growth, Craft is clearly the segment to focus on in this city. Seattle and Los Angeles are also experiencing strong growth within Craft along with a volume share above Total US again showing opportunity for Craft growth in these markets. Craft within Boston is also particularly strong in terms of volume share at +12% vs Total US, however volume decline is at -1.4%, the biggest decline across all the major markets and 2% down on Total US showing the possible saturation of Craft within Boston.


Focusing on Import, within Nielsen CGA OPM Beer 2.0 tracked outlets, Los Angeles and New York both perform strongly in this segment with a volume share double that of Total US. Dallas, Denver, Chicago, and Tampa are all experiencing over 5% growth within Import – showing further room for growth within these cities, particularly for Chicago and Tampa where volume share remains relatively low, pointing towards an opportunity to focus on driving Import within these cities. Seattle looks to be a market that is approaching saturation in the Import segment. Volume share exceeds that of Total US while growth is low at +0.8% vs Total US at +3.5%. It would therefore be better for manufacturers to focus on their Craft brands as this segment is experiencing growth within Seattle rather than trying to push Import in a saturated market.


OPM is Nielsen CGA’s On Premise Measurement service providing four weekly data on market performance. Created using CGA’s proprietary methodology, OPM reports brand and category performance at Total US and market level across volume, value, price, distribution, and velocity. Data used for this release: rolling 52 weeks to w/e 10/06/2018.

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