Beer sales in the United States were generally flat for the fourth year in a row, according to year-end volume estimates from Beverage Marketing Corp. Meanwhile, in convenience stores, the news was a little worse: Beer unit sales dipped 1.6%, according to IRI.

“Beer continues to be challenged by consumer demand for [wine and spirits],” says Tim Ferenchik, category development director of commercial marketing for Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y. “With consumers becoming increasingly savvy about price and value, the convenience channel needs to adapt to stay competitive with other channels.”

Case sales of wine were flat in c-stores, and spirits sales grew 1.8%. Imported, craft and superpremium

beers continued to show strength in c-stores, each growing 9.3%, 7.8% and 9.7%, respectively.


19.9%: Although light beers as a whole continue to struggle, with a drop of 1.4% in c-stores, Michelob Ultra remains one of the fastest-growing beers, up 19.9% in 2017, according to IRI.