As the calendar has now moved into the summer months, many professionals in the beer industry have their efforts focused on one thing: the 4th of July, one of the biggest days of the year for the U.S. beer market. More than 103 million Americans drank beer on Independence Day in 2013, with 68.3 million cases of beer sold over the course of the weekend, which is a significant increase over previous years. In 2008, beer sales only recorded 24 million cases sold during the holiday weekend. But, as of 2012, Independence Day has claimed the top spot over Memorial Day and Labor Day as the most popular holiday for beer purchases.
The two week period surrounding July 4th annually ranks the highest for two-week beer sales in the United States. In 2012, sales during that period reached $1.36 billion, making beer the biggest seller in all food and beverage categories, according to Nielsen. That number is projected to be even larger for 2014, due to the U.S. men’s national soccer team’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
While Independence Day, and the two-week period surrounding it, serves as the pinnacle for annual beer sales across the nation, the 3-month period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is even more critical for the beer industry, when roughly a third of U.S. beer sales take place. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, sales are generally 13% higher during this 15-week period, with the peak hitting at the beginning of July, where sales could be 30% or 40% higher than the weekly average. For the summer of 2014, the Beer Institute projects sales of more than $11 billion, which remains steady from sales for the summer of 2013.
Beer sales during off-peak months continue to build following the recession
Due to the increased consumption of alcohol during the summer season, the level of success that beer companies will experience can often be determined by how well they do during the summer months. If sales peak during the summer, companies’ yearly success can be substantially impacted. Over the last six or so years, beer sales during the rest of the year have been fighting back from the decline that resulted from the the recession. In recent years, this has further stressed the importance of sales during the peak summer months.
But, that doesn’t mean companies should fear for the future of the beer industry. As the country continues to build following the recession of 2008, American men in their 20’s and early 30’s (the largest demographic of beer drinkers) are continuing to get jobs and higher incomes with the improving economy. This economic shift will certainly allow the beer-friendly demographic more resources to help continue to boost sales over the coming years.
As the industry continues to grow and experience increased profits compared to where the market stood several years ago, this coming holiday weekend will make a big impact on the year’s success for those in the business of the brewery.
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