uploads///Beer Imports

US Taste for Imported Beer Continues to Grow in 1Q15

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Jun. 24 2015, Updated 12:06 p.m. ET

Double-digit growth in 1Q15

Imported beer volumes in the United States increased by 13.0% to 231.2 million gallons in the first quarter of 2015 on a year-over-year basis. Constellation Brands (STZ) distributes two of the leading imported brands, Corona Extra and Modelo Especial. Heineken (HEINY)(HEIA.AS) is another popular imported beer.

These brands compete with popular US beer brands like Budweiser, manufactured by Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD(ABI.BR), and Coors Light, which is sold by MillerCoors. MillerCoors is a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing (TAP). Molson Coors makes up ~0.1% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV).

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Import value rises

The value of US beer imports increased by 18.0% to $1.1 billion in 1Q15 from the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The quarter saw a rise in beer imports from key regions like Mexico, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and Canada.

Mexico accounted for about 59.0% of the imported beer value in the first quarter. The growing Hispanic population in the United States is a primary growth driver for the rise in Mexican beer imports. According to the United States Census Bureau’s population projections, the Hispanic or Latino population is expected to account for 17.7% of the total US population in 2015 and 19.0% by 2020. Based on the latest projections, the Hispanic population should reach 57 million in 2015.

Beer, the largest alcoholic beverage segment in the United States, is gradually losing its market share to spirits and wine. Also, highly popular light beer brands like Budweiser are losing popularity, and there’s growing demand for craft beer in the United States. However, the demand for imported beer continues to grow in the country.

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