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    Americans Cutting Back on Domestic Beer for Many Reasons

    Thirst for more variety and caloric concerns among top factors cited.

    CHICAGO -- Americans are increasingly giving up domestic beer, with a variety of reasons factoring into that decision, according to Chicago-based research firm Mintel.

    Twenty-two percent of Americans surveyed said they are drinking less domestic beer in order to focus their alcohol consumption on wine, while 18 percent of respondents are choosing to drink more liquor.

    In addition, 20 percent of those surveyed said they are cutting back on domestic beer consumption because it contains too many calories, with another 15 percent stating they believe beer is unhealthy.

    According to Mintel, consumers are also seeking more flavors and variety in their alcoholic beverages than before.

    Although consumers are increasingly turning toward wine and liquor, not all beer is performing poorly. Craft beer sales continue to be strong, especially among the 25-34 age group, as 51 percent of those surveyed believe that smaller producers make better quality beer than their larger competitors, Mintel reported.

    "We’ve seen for years that Americans of legal drinking age are no longer only beer, wine or liquor drinkers; instead they’re trying a variety of alcoholic beverages. Their drink — or drinks — of choice during the Super Bowl will likely be no exception, with consumers curious to try new craft beers, hard ciders, sparkling wine and flavored liquors," said Jennifer Zegler, global food and drink analyst at Mintel.

    "However, this thirst for variety has led to flat volume sales for brewers, even though people are buying more of much-smaller segments like craft beer and hard cider," she continued. "Brewers of all sizes must cater to this curiosity with new styles, taste profiles and limited-edition options."

    Mintel surveyed 1,867 adults in December for this study.

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