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After more than a decade of unprecedented growth, the craft beer industry is starting to experience some sobering growing pains.
As a Forbes contributor previously reported, through the first half of 2023, craft beer sales numbers declined 2% according to the Brewers Association – the first time the industry saw a decline outside of 2020 since these statistics were tracked.
In some ways, the reasons for the decline in craft beer sales are complex, ranging from still-lingering pandemic disruptions to an intense growth rate in recent years that was never sustainable, and from general inflation to lifestyle trends. around a healthier life. But in another sense, the reason for the rough patch that craft beer has been through is simple.
“The number one reason people say they drink less craft [beer] is not because they are watching their waistlines or their wallets, but because they are drinking more of some other type of alcoholic beverage,” said Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association, during a webinar analyzing the results of the Brewers Association’s mid-year survey.
Other reasons respondents said they drank less beer included opting for an overall healthier lifestyle, reducing overall calorie consumption, drinking more non-alcoholic beverages, the economy, and more. But these other concerns were at most half as common as drinking other types of alcohol, according to the survey.
Watson said other types of alcohol are “the main competitor that craft has to think about.” He added that industry experts should think about the growing demand “in the context of ‘we need to take in other parts of alcoholic beverages‘”.
The situation of craft beers in Spain
According to the Spanish Brewers Association, craft beers in Spain register 20% less production. This has been reflected in its facilities, losing 35% of its production centers.
Among the main causes is inflation, the increase in raw material costs has been 37%. However, the breweries have not passed on all expenses to the final cost.
The potential consequence of this reduction in consumption is that their viability is at stake, in fact, half of them believe they are at risk, according to the Spanish Association of Independent Craft Brewers.
*An original article from Erik Ofgang (Forbes.com).