Retail Beer Prices Soar Thanks To Inflation

Budweiser And Bud Light Losing Market Share In U.S. As Craft Beer Continues Gain In Popularity

Photo: Getty Images North America

LITTLETON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Inflation has caused prices to surge in everything from gas to groceries, and now it is hitting another consumer favorite: Beer.

According to alcoholic beverage industry experts Bump Williams Consulting, retail beer prices rose a "much higher than normal" average of 7% during the last 13 weeks of 2022. Popular beer brands such as Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Yuengling Lager saw their prices rise by 10% year over year.

Bump Williams Consulting also reported a decline in the volume of beer sold during the same time period. Domestic super-premium beers like Michelob Ultra saw sales drop 2.3% in the four weeks leading up to Christmas, while sales of imported beers such as Corona and Heinekin dipped 0.5% in December.

Lower-priced beers such as Budweiser and Miller High, as well as malt liquor and single-serve beers, saw gains in December, suggesting some consumers switched to cheaper brands to offset the rising prices.

WBZ NewsRadio spoke with Katie, who manages Littleton's One Stop Liquors, about the inflation effect.

"It’s probably had some impact in all the Massachusetts liquor stores," Katie said. "Prices are going up, it keeps going up. It is what it is, we’re just kind of adjusting things on our end to kind of make it work."

"I buy less because of how expensive things are nowadays," one Littleton's One Stop Liquors customer told WBZ NewsRadio.

"I noticed the wine keeps the same price, basically the one I usually drink, but not the beers," another customer said.

Despite the dip in beer consumption, the higher retail prices have meant sales figures are up 2% in dollar value over the last year, according to Bump Williams Consulting. It remains to be seen how long that will last.

"If I’m really looking for something, then I’m going to go get it," said one customer. "I don’t mind spending a little extra for it if I know it’s going to be quality or something like that. I don’t mind paying extra."

WBZ's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports.

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