U.S. consumers are expected to spend more on beverages over the next year, though beer and non-alcoholic sports drinks may lag, according to a new study by global business advisory firm AlixPartners LLP.
The results showed that 87 percent of U.S. consumers plan to spend the same amount or more on alcoholic beverages in the next 12 months, compared with just 70 percent in last year's study.
Spending on alcoholic beverages is projected to rise at bars and restaurants in the next year, with 37 percent of consumers saying they would buy these items in a restaurant. Last year, the figure was 20 percent. Similarly, 37 percent of consumers said they'd make these purchases at bars, up from 21 percent in 2010. Despite these increases, the study did not bode well for beer sales.
"Our analysis found that one in three consumers would look to reduce their spending on beer by lowering consumption, looking for sales and promotions or trying less-expensive brands," said Darren Morrison, vice president in AlixPartners' consumer products practice.
But all is not bad news for beer, craft beer sales, once again, are predicted to rise:
The firm said craft brews could be the lone bright spot in a declining beer market.