The Demographics of Beer


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The Demographics of Beer

Even though its growth has been relatively flat in recent years, beer represents the largest segment of the beverage alcohol industry. Admittedly, the beer industry has been losing share to the wine and spirits segments, however, beer industry overall sales volume and retail dollar sales are gargantuan and eclipse the other two segments combined. In 2004, in fact, the beer industry grew by 0.7% to 2.84 billion 2.25-gallon cases, with total retail dollar sales (including on- and off-premise) gaining to $82.2 billion.

Percentage of Persons Who Drink Beer by Race and Ethnic Origin

Category White Black Asian Hispanic* All Races
Regular 27.5% 27.6% 18.8% 26.3% 27.3%
Light 30.9% 17.8% 14.1% 27.0% 28.5%
Malt Liquor 2.8% 13.7% 2.6% 5.4% 4.3%
Ice 5.6% 12.1% 3.4% 7.0% 6.7%
Imported 24.8% 23.3% 28.3% 35.2% 25.3%
Non-Alcohol 3.6% 7.0% 5.7% 8.0% 4.4%
Micro/Specialty 10.5% 3.7% 9.0% 8.7% 9.4%
Adult Population (millions) 157.1 23.2 7.9 22.6 199.2

(*) Can be of any race.
Source: Simmons Market Research Bureau; Fall 2003 Study of Media and Markets.

In keeping with recent trends, the light and imported beer segments have continued to gain, basically at the expense of the premium and popular beer segments. Interestingly, the demographics of which consumers drink which types of beers can shed some light on these growth patterns. For instance, it’s no coincidence that Mexican beer sales (and imported beer sales) have been growing along with the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. The U.S. Census Bureau recorded the population change for Hispanics at 57.9% from 1990 to 2000, and it predicts double-digit growth through 2007. Along these lines, the following charts show some of the consumer characteristics reflected in beer sales, including racial and ethnic consumption trends, and percentage of beer drinkers identified by gender and age for a selection of leading brands in different beer categories.

Percentage of Beer Drinkers By Gender and Age Group, Top Brands

Age Groups
Brand Male Female 21-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
LIGHT BEER
Bud Light 60.2% 39.8% 13.0% 25.8% 25.5% 16.1% 9.2% 10.4%
Coor’s Light 60.4% 39.6% 7.7% 25.8% 22.8% 20.7% 12.6% 10.4%
Miller Lite 60.9% 39.1% 6.4% 25.6% 22.2% 22.9% 12.3% 10.6%
Michelob Light 58.4% 41.6% 9.6% 16.4% 23.7% 22.4% 12.3% 15.6%
Busch Light 71.5% 28.5% 4.2% 21.6% 22.2% 21.8% 11.6% 18.6%
Michelob Ultra Light 46.4% 53.6% 3.8% 26.1% 32.0% 21.1% 8.7% 8.3%
Corona Light 51.7% 48.3% 7.1% 32.1% 25.4% 15.6% 10.6% 9.2%
Amstel Light 54.7% 45.3% 7.3% 19.3% 29.3% 20.5% 15.1% 8.5%
Miller Genuine
Draft Light
54.9% 45.1% 4.8% 19.8% 28.1% 22.5% 7.7% 17.1%
Natural Light 73.2% 26.8% 6.9% 19.5% 29.2% 21.0% 14.2% 9.2%
Total Light Beer 58.2% 41.8% 8.3% 23.4% 25.3% 19.6% 11.9% 11.5%
Age Groups
Brand Male Female 21-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
DOMESTIC REGULAR BEER
Budweiser 72.1% 27.9% 12.2% 23.3% 25.6% 18.4% 8.8% 11.7%
Coors Original 63.6% 36.4% 11.2% 19.8% 19.0% 22.3% 13.2% 14.5%
Miller Genuine Draft 66.7% 33.3% 6.3% 20.6% 26.6% 22.5% 12.8% 11.2%
Michelob 62.6% 37.4% 7.6% 14.7% 23.7% 25.1% 15.0% 13.9%
Sam Adams 65.0% 35.0% 8.2% 28.3% 27.5% 19.2% 10.1% 6.7%
Miller High Life 68.2% 31.8% 7.2% 13.6% 27.2% 23.9% 13.0% 15.1%
Busch 73.1% 26.9% 7.2% 15.2% 28.6% 16.9% 21.7% 10.4%
Rolling Rock 62.4% 37.6% 12.8% 29.3% 25.2% 16.6% 9.8% 6.3%
Milwaukee’s Best 66.9% 33.1% 6.5% 16.5% 26.7% 25.3% 9.9% 15.1%
Total Domestic Beer 67.6% 32.4% 9.2% 21.6% 24.8% 20.1% 11.8% 12.5%
Age Groups
Brand Male Female 21-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
IMPORTED BEER
Corona 61.9% 38.1% 12.5% 28.2% 28.1% 16.8% 8.8% 5.6%
Heineken 68.4% 31.6% 11.7% 24.8% 23.3% 20.2% 10.1% 9.9%
Guinness 72.7% 27.3% 9.1% 31.2% 24.0% 18.5% 10.5% 6.7%
Bass 66.4% 33.6% 10.6% 25.7% 23.6% 21.1% 11.5% 7.5%
Beck’s 68.4% 31.6% 8.3% 15.3% 30.4% 22.7% 14.0% 9.3%
Dos Equis 56.5% 43.5% 9.0% 26.3% 26.1% 15.4% 14.1% 9.1%
Labatt 70.4% 29.6% 16.6% 19.3% 29.7% 14.2% 7.8% 12.4%
Tecate 55.6% 44.4% 6.2% 31.2% 22.8% 25.2% 8.3% 6.3%
Foster’s Lager 77.5% 22.5% 7.2% 21.0% 27.1% 23.0% 14.3% 7.4%
Harp 70.6% 29.4% 8.6% 40.5% 28.6% 11.7% 5.5% 5.1%
Molson Canadian 75.8% 24.2% 9.6% 24.6% 30.5% 19.5% 7.4% 8.4%
Total Imported Beer 64.0% 36.0% 10.2% 25.3% 26.3% 19.3% 9.6% 9.3%
Age Groups
Brand Male Female 21-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
ICE BEER
Bud Ice 74.1% 25.9% 10.5% 29.1% 37.4% 12.6% 4.1% 6.3%
Icehouse 63.5% 36.5% 6.9% 28.9% 30.6% 19.9% 8.0% 5.7%
Total Ice Beer 68.7% 31.3% 8.7% 24.7% 31.2% 20.1% 8.0% 7.3%
OTHERS
Sierra Nevada 61.8% 38.2% 10.4% 37.7% 22.2% 17.3% 9.4% 3.0%
O’Doul’s 68.8% 31.2% 2.5% 12.9% 23.6% 20.1% 19.1% 21.8%
Smirnoff Ice 45.2% 54.8% 22.6% 29.8% 25.1% 13.5% 6.7% 2.3%
Mike’s Hard Lemonade 41.3% 58.7% 17.6% 33.5% 26.9% 13.3% 6.1% 2.6%
Bacardi Silver 40.1% 59.9% 18.9% 34.5% 23.4% 14.0% 5.7% 3.5%

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