Special Report

Beers Americans No Longer Drink

Source: budweiser.com

5. Budweiser
> Sales change (2011-2016): -22.2%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 13.2 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Known as “The King of Beers,” Budweiser is the best selling non-light beer in the United States. However, the iconic American brand’s best days may be in the past. As craft brews and imports continue to gain favor among American beer lovers, Budweiser sales are hurting. In the last five years, domestic shipments of Bud fell 22.2% from 17.0 million barrels in 2011 to 13.2 million in 2016.

Still, Anheuser-Busch has remained a strong performer on Wall Street. Over the same five years, even as domestic Budweiser sales fell by 3.8 million barrels, the company’s share price climbed from $55 to over $100 per share — out performing both the Dow and S&P 500 indices.

Source: walmart.com

4. Natural Light
> Sales change (2011-2016): -23.0%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 6.6 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Natural Light was introduced as a low cost sub-premium brand by Anheuser-Busch in 1977. Light beers are characterized by fewer calories and lower ABV than traditional brews, and they appear to be losing favor with American beer drinkers as half of the 10 beers on this list are light. Natural Light shipments fell 23% from 8.6 million barrels in 2011 to 6.6 million in 2016.

Despite the decline, Natural Light remains relatively popular, ranking as the sixth best selling beer in 2016 and the fourth best selling light beer.

Source: walmart.com

3. Miller High Life
> Sales change (2011-2016): -24.1%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 3.6 million
> Owner: Molson Coors Brewing Company

Though it is known as the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life sales are no reason to celebrate. Domestic High Life sales are down from 4.7 million barrels in 2011 to 3.6 million in 2016. The 24.1% five-year decline is the third worst of any major beer brand in the United States over that period.

Miller High Life’s parent company entered into a three-year ad agreement with FX Networks in 2014. The deal grants the company exclusive beer advertising rights on media networks FX, FXX, and FXM. Whether or not the campaign can turn Miller High Life sales around remains to be seen.

Source: keystonelight.com

2. Keystone Light
> Sales change (2011-2016): -26.2%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 3.3 million
> Owner: Molson Coors Brewing Company

Keystone Light is Molson Coors Brewing Company’s sub-premium beer brand. It is one of four low-price point beers and one of five light beers to rank among the brands reporting the steepest five-year popularity declines. Annual domestic shipments of Keystone Light are down 26.2% since 2011, from 4.5 million barrels to 3.3 million.

Sales of Keystone Light may turn around soon, however. Earlier this year, Molson Coors redesigned the Keystone brand’s logo and packaging, introduced a 15-pack, and promoted the brand through a wave of digital and radio ads. Early data reflects a slight uptick in sales of Keystone Light.

Source: walmart.com

1. Bud Light Lime
> Sales change (2011-2016): -35.5%
> Barrels shipped in 2016: 1.0 million
> Owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Bud Light Lime has seen better days. Hugely popular upon its 2008 introduction, Bud Light Lime was Anheuser-Busch’s apparent attempt to combat falling sales as more Americans turned to craft beers and cocktails. The company introduced Americans to the new lime flavored light beer with a $35 million multimedia ad campaign. Starting off strong, demand for Bud Light Lime has declined steadily in the years since. Anheuser Busch shipped 1.6 million barrels domestically in 2011, down from 1.8 million in 2010. In 2016, the company shipped only 1.0 million barrels of Bud Light Lime, a 35.5% decline from five years earlier. In addition to reporting the steepest five-year sales decline, Bud Light Lime also has the dubious distinction of having the lowest annual sales volume among beers on this list.

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