USA: Midyear 2023 Survey

Midyear 2023 survey results are on par with 2022 annual trends, with the industry leveling out after years of growth followed by two years of a unique market due to COVID-19. Indicative of a maturing era for the craft beer industry, the survey reveals a low single-digit decline of -2% in the market. From a competitive distribution market and rising costs, to changing consumer preferences and supply chain disruptions, the craft brewing industry has radically grown and shifted over recent decades, with that change only accelerating in recent years.
The active craft brewery number increased from 9,119 in June 2022 to 9,336 as of June 2023, with the total brewery number up from 9,242 to 9,456. In this maturing market, explosive growth from years past has tapered out, but openings continue to slightly outpace closings, and brewers are finding success in niches where they can succeed.

Overall, craft brewers continue to face economic headwinds on both business and consumer fronts. From a business perspective, borrowing costs continue to rise, and while input cost increases have stabilized, they remain elevated over previous levels. Meanwhile, mounting evidence shows inflation eroding consumers’ buying capacity and diminishing their savings, and the impending restart of student loan payments this fall could impact consumer purchasing power during the back half of the year.

“Optimism is on the horizon as the midyear survey shows hope for better trends in the future,” reflected Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association. “Collectively, craft still needs new ideas and new strategies to move beyond our current normal, which is a slow-growth environment. Craft demand isn’t going anywhere, and there is plenty of opportunity for growth within new channels, occasions, and customers.”

Source: Brewers Association
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