Beer Distributors Increasing Orders Only for Imports

That's according to National Beer Wholesalers Association Beer Purchasers Index.  Results for September showed the total beer index at 45.5 and the "at risk" inventory at 50.  

The September data marks a shift to a lower "at-risk" inventory measure compared to September 2021 and August 2022, indicating distributors are carefully managing inventories heading into the fourth quarter, NBWA said. Continued inflationary pressures and a slowing economy bring the industry to a fourth month of pause after five months of positive ordering trends in 2022.

The only beer segment in expansion territory was imports with a reading of 61 in September, slightly lower than the year-earlier reading of 65.

Perhaps reflecting the impact of inflation on household budgets, the below-premium segment was at 47, which was significantly higher than the year-earlier reading of 29.  September was the fourth month in which below-premium was the only segment to see an increase.

Also perhaps reflecting inflation's impact on family budgets, the craft index plunged to 26 from 44 a year earlier.  

Premium lights index posted a reading of 47, down from 50 a  year earlier, and the premium regular segment was at 36, below the September 2021 level of 41.  The FMB/seltzer segment continues to contract, falling to 24 from 40 a year earlier, and cider remains below fell to 24 from 34 in September 2021.

An index reading above 50 signals expansion; a reading below 50 signals contraction.