Beer had a lackluster year in 2011, with the latest estimates showing U.S. shipments at their lowest levels since 2003 as major manufacturers such as Anheuser-Busch and Heineken USA took tumbles.
Worldwide, suds shipments were down 2.9 million barrels, or 1.4%, from 2010, according to the latest newsletter from Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Top-ranked Anheuser-Busch, which owns Budweiser, Michelob, Beck’s and more, saw shipments slip 2.9 million barrels – or 2.9% -- to 98,800 barrels. That’s the first time the compnay has shipped less than 100 million barrels in a decade. MillerCoors saw a 3% shipment slip to less than 60 million barrels.
Both companies also lost market share in 2011, with Anheuser down 0.7 percentage points to 47% and MillerCoors down four tenths of a percentage point to 28.4%.