Light beers represent US' 3 best-selling brews for the first time ever | Lag in beer consumption prompts closure of Mass. Ardagh plant | Constellation, Owen-Illinois plan $140M expansion for Mexico glass factory
Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite were America's top-selling beers in 2017, the first time in history that the US' three biggest sellers were low-calorie domestic brews. Rounding out the top five were Budweiser and Corona.
Ardagh Group said a drop in US beer consumption is behind its decision to close its glass bottle plant in Milford, Mass. Ardagh chairman Paul Coulson said the company will distribute orders to its other North American facilities and pursue growth opportunities in stronger performing markets such as wine and spirits.
New data from IWSR finds that declining beer consumption in the US caused a decline in the larger alcohol market for the second consecutive year in 2017. Beer purchases, which make up 79% of total alcohol sales in the US, dropped by 0.5%, causing an overall decrease in sales despite a 2.3% increase in sales of spirits, and a 1.3% increase in wine consumption.
Constellation Brands and Owens-Illinois have announced a joint venture to add a fifth furnace at the glass plant near the Constellation brewery in Nava, Coahuila, Mexico. The companies will invest a combined $140 million in the project.
Makers of The Real McCoy Rum will receive marketing and operational assistance from Constellation Brands, which has purchased a minority stake in the company. The Real McCoy, named after Depression-era rum runner Bill McCoy, was founded in 2013 by Bailey Pryor and fourth-generation master distiller Richard Seale, who manufacture their product in small batches in Barbados.
Beer sales in the US totaled more than $34 billion in 2017 according to data from IRI Worldwide. Dollar sales of craft, imports and domestic super-premium beers increased, while sales of domestic sub-premium beer, flavored malt beverages, cider and non-alcoholic beer declined.
The Houston city council last week approved a $37 million deal with FCC Environmental that will see glass returned to curbside recycling services in the city next year. The 20-year agreement follows a two-year battle over cost that saw FCC's first proposal accepted in June, then rejected and bids re-opened after public criticism over the decision-making process.
Officials in Chattanooga, Tenn., are surveying residents about glass recycling options after a decision to remove the material from curbside recycling services this month. Residents are being asked to consider participation and fees for a separate glass recycling program due to concerns over contamination and transportation costs.