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Master of Agribusiness

Factors Influencing Consumption of Traditional Domestic Beer in the U.S.

Zach Gaines, St. Louis, Mo., defended his thesis, “Factors Influencing Consumption of Traditional Domestic Beer in the U.S.,” February 9, 2006. Gaines is a Research Technician with Anheuser-Busch Companies in St. Louis, Mo. He graduated from Kansas State University in May 2006 with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB).

For the last decade growth in the U.S. traditional domestic beer industry has been stagnant due to declining consumption.  In this thesis, Gaines sought to determine the critical variables that may explain the situation and also determine the effect imported beers and specialty or micro-brewed beers have on consumption of traditional domestic beer.

“Having the opportunity to study economic and socioeconomic variables impacting the traditional domestic beer market in the US helped me to gain a better understanding of how my company is positioned in the changing alcoholic beverage industry today,” Gaines said. 

He found that while imported and specialty beers are generally higher in price than traditional domestic beer, they offer consumers a much wider variety of choice in terms of flavor and style. He also confirmed as consumers get older, they drink less beer, and more wine or spirits, which adds to declining beer consumption. Both of these findings will need to be addressed to reverse the decrease in traditional domestic beer consumption.

“The most interesting conclusion from the research centered around the effects of age demographics, and what kind of an impact they have on the domestic beer industry,” Gaines said. “I want to thank the Anheuser-Busch Companies for supporting me in continuing my education, and I hope this study will contribute to the company's success in the future.”