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Beer Wholesale

Beer Wholesale

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Executive summary

Revenue growth for the Beer Wholesaling industry has been hindered by shifting alcohol consumption trends among consumers, particularly millennials. Americans have been consuming less beer and opting for alternative alcoholic beverages. However, the industry has continued to benefit from laws that prevent the vertical integration of breweries and retailers. After the Prohibition era, nearly every state enacted a three-tier distribution system, requiring three distinct levels within the alcoholic beverage supply chain, including producer, distributor and retailer.
As a result, beer wholesalers have a protected role, purchasing beer from producers before storing and transporting it to downstream retailers. Since 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in rising demand for industry operators, with revenue rising 5.1% and 4.0% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. On aggregate, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue has grown at an annualized rate of 2.5% to 2.4% to $88.4 billion over the five years to 2022, although growth is projected to slow to 0.1% during the current year.
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industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Colloquial Terminology

Alcoholic beverages usually brewed using hops and malt or other similar grains.

General term for beer that is created in, or in imitation of, small-scale breweries that place greater emphasis on flavor and quality ingredients.

Government taxes usually levied according to the alcoholic content of beverages.


US beer production has traditionally been highly concentrated, with most controlled by two companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and Molson Coors Beverage Company. Over the five years to 2022, however, small-scale craft breweries have become increasingly popular among consumers and expenditure on high-quality alcohol has steadily grown. Consumers are now showing more interest in higher-margin beer products, such as high-quality craft beers. Continued growth in per capita disposable income, alongside growth in per capita expenditure on alcohol, has facilitated craft beer sales, driving industry revenue growth. Thus, industry profit, measured as earnings before interest and taxes, accounts for 4.7% of revenue in 2022.

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