Special Report

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

10. Budweiser
> Sales change (2009-2014): -26.0%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 14.4 million

Like three other beer brands on this list, as well as five of the fastest-growing brands, Budweiser is owned by multinational behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewing company in the world. The company aims to expand its reach even further. In September 2015, the company announced its plans to purchase rival SABMiller — the owner of several other brands on this list and the world’s second largest beer maker. Some analysts believe the proposed deal, while raising fears of a potential monopoly, is a response to its falling market share and part of AB InBev’s efforts to increase its presence in emerging markets such as Africa, where SABMiller is already relatively popular.

Meanwhile, sales of Budweiser, the so-called King of Beers, have dropped by 26% over the five years ending in 2014, the 10th largest decline among major beer brands in the United States. While rising craft beer sales can largely account for the short-term decline, Budweiser’s longer-term drop can be attributed to the growth in demand for light beer, such as Bud Light — by far the largest beer brand by market share in the country.

9. Natural Light
> Sales change (2009-2014): -26.6%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 6.8 million

Anheuser-Busch introduced Natural Light in 1977 as the brewer’s first light beer, five years before Bud Light. Natural Light grew to be one of the top-selling cheap beers in the U.S., selling 9.3 million barrels of beer domestically in 2009. Like many of the country’s largest, most well-known beers, sales of Natural Light have declined significantly in recent years. From 2009 through 2014, U.S. sales of Natural Light fell by 26.6%, one of the largest declines of any beer. The inexpensive beer is classified as sub-premium, a category of beers valued for their low price over their quality. According to user input on RateBeer.com, Natural Light is considered the worst beer in the world.

8. Miller High Life
> Sales change (2009-2014): -27.3%
> Parent company: SABMiller
> Barrels shipped in 2014: 3.8 million

The parent company of Miller High Life, MillerCoors, is the second largest brewer in the nation by market share. The company claims roughly 30% of U.S. beer sales, trailing only AB InBev. Miller High Life is a slightly higher-alcohol variation of the popular Miller Lite brand — the fourth largest beer brand in the country, with 13.4 million barrels sold last year. Miller High Life however was slightly less popular, selling only 3.8 million barrels. Last year’s sales figures represent a 27.3% decline from five years earlier when the company sold 5.2 million barrels of Miller High Life. Sales of Miller Lite declined by 18.4% over the same period.

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