Growth in the Progressive Adult Beverage (PAB) category has been phenomenal, capitalizing on a trend wherein consumers ages 21-34 seek new alcohol tastes and specialty adult beverages.
Flavored malt beverages, called FMBs, are beers that are either mixed with another alcoholic drink, such as a spirit, or could be a mixture of beer with some sort of flavoring or mixer, like lemonade.
Though FMBs represent a small sliver of the overall beer/malt beverage volume in the U.S., growth for the segment has been stronger than craft beers. According to Nielsen, which tracks sales at food-and-drug stores and many other retailers, FMBs have 4% of the overall malt-based alcoholic beverage volume in the U.S., but are contributing 31% of volume growth based on the total of all segments that are posting growth.
Beer insiders say the brewers’ FMBs are a nod to a few key trends in the alcoholic beverage space. Consumers, particularly Millennials, are demanding higher ABVs in their beers, as well as more flavorful concoctions. Ciders are also becoming increasingly popular.
“There is this propensity to go for higher ABV, or drink wine and spirits,” said Amin Alkhatib, alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor. “Brewers are looking to exploit that by launching higher ABV beers or malt beverages.”