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U.S. sales of the leading flavored malt beverage brands 2018

Smirnoff was the top selling flavored malt beverage brand (FMBs) in the United States in 2018. The brand generated 298 million dollars in sales, beating out competitors Bud Light Lime PAB and Mike Harder, each with 290 and 283 million dollars in respective sales. In terms of volume sales, Smirnoff was second to Twisted Tea, which had 10.09 million cases of sales to Smirnoff’s 9.67 million.

What makes a beverage an FMB?

Flavored malt beverages are alcoholic beverages which by regulation must be made of 25 percent malt and 7.5 pounds of hops per 100 finished product barrels. Through processing, as much malt, flavor and color as possible is removed (characteristics which are typical of beer) before different flavorings and colorings are added. Flavored malt beverages were born in the 1990’s in an attempt to exploit the tax loophole that taxed malt-based beverages like beer at a lower rate than spirits-based beverages.

C-store sales

Flavored malt beverages are a popular alcoholic drink at convenience stores. After regular beer sales, FMBs were the next best-selling beer-based beverage, ahead of craft beers, cider, and non-alcoholic beer. FMB sales also resulted in the largest gross profit margin among beer sales in convenience stores. Gross profit margin is the percent of revenues that remain after deducting the cost of selling goods.

Sales of the leading flavored malt beverages in the United States in 2018, by brand (in million U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

May 2017


United States

Survey time period

52 weeks ending March 25, 2018

Supplementary notes

* Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. Total U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, gas and convenience stores, mass merchandisers, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains.
Figures have been rounded.

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