The craft beer market, for years the lone bright spot in an otherwise sluggish industry, is starting to get stale.
Sales growth is slowing, once-thriving brewers are laying off workers and the proliferation of new brands all competing for attention hearkens back to the dime-a-dozen startups from the web’s early days. On Friday, the world’s biggest brewer, Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, acknowledged the slowdown for the first time, saying the sector has been decelerating for more than three months.
While many craft brands are still thriving, and few analysts expected the category’s supercharged growth to continue unabated, the cooling market isn’t welcome news for a brewing sector that’s desperate for growth. Mass-market beers such as Budweiser and Coors Light have been suffering for years, and AB InBev now expects U.S. industry volumes to decline this year versus previous expectations of an improvement.
“There’s a natural point where it can’t grow anymore and this might be it,” Anthony Bucalo, an analyst at HSBC , said by phone. “Consumers are overwhelmed by too much choice; the industry has been swamped. There’s too many brands, too many styles, not enough quality.”
On a monthly chart, we are examining U.S. Brewers Index <DSDB>. First we notice an expanding ascending megaphone structure produced by drawing a on the 03-02-2009 low. Next is the Pattern completing the fifth wave on 10-03-2016 meeting resistance at the 1×2 . Since the completion of the Pattern, there are been four down months with limited mainstream media coverage. on a 14 count is probing below the diagonal ascending support. Overall, the bubble in beer may very well be bursting and certainly the market has started to clear. Cheers.