For First Time, Beer Imports Topped Wine Imports In 2020
For the first time ever, the value of beer imported into the United States was greater in 2020 than the value for wine. Covid-19 story? Actually, no. One-year anomaly or longer-lasting development? It just might be the latter. There’s irony to the story, since the company largely responsible for those beer imports is not a Mexican company but an American one, a company that, while known within the industry, might be unfamiliar to its customers. And there’s a bit of mystery, since the decline in 2020 wine imports suggests a relationship with Covid-19 that doesn’t hold up. To be sure, there are a few other factors at work, including a domestic wine industry that has matured greatly over the last generation and a legacy domestic beer industry that hasn’t, allowing it to get squeezed by imports (as well as craft beers). One thing is for sure, in less than a decade, wine imports have slipped from being 40% greater in value than beer imports to being 3% less. Let’s start with beer, which is a little simpler to understand. Beer used to come from a variety of countries. In 2020, Mexico accounted for a record 72.27% of all U.S. beer imports during a record year for all beer imports, which totaled $5.75 billion.
It marked the ninth consecutive year for record U.S. beer imports and the 12th consecutive year that Mexico increased market share.
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