Report: top 15 beer brands account for 61% of on-premise sales

guestmetrics logoCorrected headline which previously read “top 15 craft beer brands”

Press Release:

According to GuestMetrics, based on its proprietary database of POS transactions from restaurants and bars, there was a rapid proliferation in the number of craft brands carried in on-premise during 2012, which has been one of the largest drivers of the share losses being experienced by premium and import beers. “Comparing the first three quarters of 2012 against the same period in 2011, there was a massive expansion in the number of unique beer brands carried in restaurants and bars,” said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC. According to Pecoriello, while there were approximately 2,500 unique beer brands carried in bars and restaurants last year, that number has grown 33% to nearly 3,400 brands in 2012.

“While the largest 15 beer brands in on-premise large account for 61% of retail sales, they only make up 0.4% of the total number of brands carried in restaurants and bars,” said Peter Reidhead, VP of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics. “This means the long ‘tail’ of nearly 3,400 smaller beer brands accounts for about 40% of sales in the on-premise space.” According to data from GuestMetrics, the tail of brands gained nearly 2 points of share during 2012, coming directly at the expense of the top 15 beer brands. GuestMetrics has classified the brands in the tail into three broad buckets: the 60% of brands that were carried in on-premise both in 2011 and 2012, the 10% of brands carried in 2011 but then disappeared from on-premise in 2012, and the 30% of brands that appeared in on-premise for the first time in 2012.

“In analyzing the long tail of over 3,000 smaller beer brands,” said Pecoriello, “one quickly comes to appreciate how difficult it is for the large brewers to compete against such a diverse, fast growing, and rapidly evolving group. Of the 2 points of share that the top 15 beer brands lost in 2012, 50% of the share loss came at the hands of the 2,500 craft brands that were sold both in 2011 and 2012, and the other 50% came at the hands of the 800 new craft brands that appeared for the first time in 2012. It will be critical to closely monitor on a month-to-month basis the pace of proliferation of craft brands in on-premise, and the impact they have on share trends within the beer category.”

About GuestMetrics LLC

GuestMetrics, LLC is revolutionizing how the hospitality industry operates. Despite the dawn of the Digital Age having begun more than three decades ago, the hospitality industry essentially functions the same way it did centuries before. GuestMetrics has cracked the code, turning billions of raw transactions into intelligible data that is fundamentally transforming the business operations of everyone from the independently-owned bar/restaurant on the corner, to multi-national chains, to the food & beverage companies that supply them. Please visit for more information and to arrange for a free demonstration.

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