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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Imports Down

Post has been updated; see below.

This isn't good: consumption of imported beer declined in 2008:

Last year's growth came from off-premise consumption of value-priced sprits, wine and beer - a reversal of the trend toward premium brands that's been driving growth in recent years.

Imported beer and wine took the largest hits. Beer imports' growth dropped from 12% in 2006 to 2.8% in 2007 to a 1.2% decline last year. Among the domestic categories, lights remained a bright spot, growing 2.2% to represent 51.8% of the total beer market.

I'm wondering how much this is related to the economy, though. If you look at the handy chart I made, the trendline--based on data from the story--was already headed south. More to the point, we don't know if people were drinking less good imports, or just less Stella. This could be a case of numbers lying. Still, worth noting for future reference.

Update. Via John Foyston, I see some glimmer of good news: Budvar's US exports rose 7% in '08.

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