Thursday, July 24, 2014

One in five beers sold in America is a Bud Light

Some Bud Lights in a bowl. Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Everyone knows Bud Light is popular. But just how popular is mildly shocking.

Last month's issue of Beer Industry magazine has a bevy of good data on 2013 beer sales, including case sales for the top ten domestic, imported, and craft beers, hard ciders, and flavored malt beverages (think Mike's Hard Lemonade, Bud Light Lime, Smirnoff Ice, etc.). Here's what those brands look like stacked up next to each other:

Cases_of_beer_or_beer_like_beverage_sold_by_brand__2013_3_

Not only is Bud Light in front, it's way out in front, with nearly three times the sales of its nearest rival, Coors Light.

Foreign and craft beers — even popular and well-known ones like Corona, Heineken, or Sam Adams — are crazily far behind. Even further behind are flavored malt beverages and hard cider. Here are the total case sales in 2013 for each category:

Cases_of_beer_or_beer_like_beverage_sold_by_type__2013

Let's step back for a second. If you add up every case of imported beer, craft beer, hard cider, and flavored malt beverages sold in 2013, you get 270,194,987. Bud Light sold 294,749,300 cases. That means that last year Bud Light outsold every imported beer, craft beer, hard cider, and flavored malt beverage combined. Indeed, Bud Light makes up about 20 percent of all cases of beer (or cider or flavored malt beverage) sold last year. One in five beers sold last year was a Bud Light:

Cases_of_beer_or_beer_like_beverage_sold_as_percentage_of_total_sales__by_brand__2013_3_

Thanks to The Atlantic's John Tierney for pointing out the data.

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