Women boost beer sales

Female drinkers - attracted by 'light' choices - now 30% of market

Apr 29, 2005 - Women are behind much of the growth in the U.S. beer market, thanks to their interest in low-carb and "light" beer products, according to new research by market analyst Datamonitor in London.


"The shift in an increasing number of women drinking beer is not solely representative of consumer tastes but also of a change in lifestyles, with the number of affluent single women increasing", said Nicci Pugh, consumer analyst at Datamonitor.

The group's report, which examines trends in the $78 billion U.S. beer, cider, and Flavored Alcoholic Beverages (FABs) market, finds that women now consume 30% of beer in the U.S.

"The low-carb trend has benefited players in the beer industry, providing them with a golden opportunity. The new product lines have achieved a large volume of sales globally, but growth in the U.S. in particular has been extraordinary. With more than 50% of the U.S. population reporting a conscious effort to limit carbohydrate intake in 2003, these alternatives are proving a perfect complement to the rising popularity of all things low-carb," said Pugh.

The U.S. beer market overall has suffered in the face of a growing preference for wine, driven by more attractive pricing for the latter and the success of wine manufacturers in targeting young adults, Datamonitor eports. Spirits are another sector to have gained share at the expense of beer.

Datamonitor warns that the entrance onto the market of low-carb cocktails, such as Baja Bob's Sugar Free and Low Carb Mixes, and similar alcoholic drinks alternatives may inhibit growth in the overall beer market, as new product innovations aim to tickle female taste buds in a bid to secure a share of the female dollar. "The U.S. beer market has overcome challenges but manufacturers cannot rest on their laurels. Failure to respond to an ever-changing consumer could potentially translate to a loss in market share" said Pugh.