TOP 10 BEER BRANDS
Miller High Life
Michelob Ultra Light
Beer Outlook 2009
The road ahead for beer sales looks smooth despite the current bumpy economy, said Dan Roane, category manager of alcoholic beverages for Circle K’s southeastern stores.
“Costs rose across all the markets in 2008, but I would almost bet that we won’t see any cost increases this year,” Roane said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re selling dishwashers or beer, consumers are becoming much more conservative with their money. Given that, I think that price increases this year are unlikely.”
Companies in other industries may be curtailing their advertising spending amid the economic slump, as consumers cut back on their spending. Beer sales across the industry are still gaining, showing cash-strapped consumers who may be skimping on other purchases are hard pressed to give up their beer.
Convenience stores are pretty well positioned to weather economic storms because convenience is such a huge contributor to sales. “I think we’ll be in pretty good shape, but if I were a manufacturer, I’d be looking at ways to become more efficient,” Roane said.
Despite the current economic outlook, Roane isn’t gloomy about 2009 sales. With any kind of luck, as we get into summer, the economy will turn around and we’ll finish the year strong, he said.
As to trends, the new Japanese brands that have no carbohydrates at all may carve out a market niche for themselves stateside. “Zero-carbs is definitely attractive,” Roane said. “Some beers that have positioned themselves as low-carb beers have been very successful.”