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American beer market

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The beer market in the United s is dominated by three major three companies which hold nearly 80 percent. These are Anheuser-Busch based in St. Louis, Missouri, Milson Coors Brewing Company bases in Golden, Colorado and Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The following table shows the latest data available with regards to the share of volume of light beer in the US beer market.
Figure 1: Light Beer Shares by US Volume
Categories
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Light
43. 0%
44. 5%
46. 2%
47. 8%
47. 8%
48. 0%
Source: BeverageMarketing. Com (2008).
Top best-sellers in the light beer segment are Bud Light followed by Budweiser, both from Anheuser-Busch. Miller light and Coors Light comes from the merged Miller and Coors Brewing Company. US sales and market shares are shown in the following:
Source: BeverageMarketing. Com (2008)

Bud Light has seen a 2% growth in 2008 which is greater than other light beer competitor. The brand still remains as the top-selling beer in global terms. Growth drivers include rising market share in Mexico which went up 27% in 2008 and made the brand Mexico’s No. 1 light beer brand. This was due to the equity investment made by the company to the Grupo Modelo S. A. B. de C. V. which has 56% of the Mexico beer market. In Canada, sales volume went up by 30% due to innovative marketing strategies and sponsorships of popular teams in the National Hockey League like the Toronto Blue Jays. Anheuser-Busch has also set its eyes in China’s emerging and burgeoning market. A production facility has already been established in the country where the main product to be made was Bud Lite. The company has also teamed up with China’s oldest and largest brewery, Tsingtao.
In October of 2007, owners of Miller and Coors announced a joint venture to try to unsettle the behemoth Anheuser-Busch which had 51% of the total beer market. Miller commands 18% while Coors has 11%. The said merger entitled Miller to a 52% economic interest while the rest is to Coors. The joint-venture, MillerCoors, was expected to benefit from an estimated $500 million from the integration of its distribution system and market shares. Nonetheless, a 2009 report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (where Miller previously held its base of operation) revealed that Coors Light had increased its sales by 2. 6% from its 2008 sales volume of 17. 75 million barrels. Miller Lite’s sale was only 17. 7 million barrels which was down from its 18. 35 million barrels last 2007. The sales output statistics meant that Coors has overtaken Miller in the numbers game but Bud Light and Budweiser remained strong. Coors’ sales increase was attributed to its clear marketing message of being a cold beer while Miller Lite’s campaign has been struggling. The Miller-Coors joint venture was supposed to complement each other’s product but has resulted instead to the sacrifice of one product for the sake of the other.
In face of the deepening crisis, both companies have expressed fears of decreased sales due to a rapidly decreasing purchasing power. Consumers were feared to spend their money more on the basics rather than on the refreshment. Results are yet to be published whether this fear is warranted or not.

References:
Brand Week Magazine (2008). Beer, Wine, Liquor: Care for Some Booze with Your Beer. Retrieved July 29, 2008 from http://www. brandweek. com/brandweek/features/superbrands/alcohol_01. jsp
Williams, J. (2009). Coors Light dethrones Miller Lite, becomes No. 3 beer in U. S. Retrieved July 26, 2009 from http://www. stltoday. com/blogzone/lager-heads/anheuser-busch/2009/01/coors-light-dethrones-miller-lite-becomes-no-3-beer-in-us/

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