The 8 Beers Americans Don't Drink Anymore

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Some of America's most famous beers have lost a tremendous amount of their national sales over the last five years. They are mostly full-calorie beers that lost out to lower-calorie products, as well as imports and craft beers. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the 23 largest selling beer products in America and found eight that have lost a staggering 30% or more of their sales between 2005 and 2010.

Most of these beers have one thing in common -- they are "full-calorie" beers, or about 145 calories a can. Beer drinkers have turned to "light beers," which closer to 100 calories a can, and "ultra-lights," which are closer to 90 calories.

As for the top 10 beers in the U.S., six are light beers, two are imports, and two are classic "heavies" brewed by classic American brewer Anheuser-Busch, which is now owned by the Belgian company InBev.

Surprisingly, Budweiser, the best-selling beer in America for years, has lost 30% of its sales over the five-year period. Budweiser still sold 18 million barrels last year, but it has dropped more than 7 million annual barrels. Sales of Bud Light, on the other hand, held steady at just over 39 million barrels during the five year period. Six products on our list have lost half their sales since 2005.

Other than lighter-calorie beers, drinkers have also turned to imports, such as Corona, and to craft beers, which are produced, and usually also consumed, in relatively small regions, according to Eric Shepard of beer marketer's INSIGHTS. Overall, sales of beer from 2005 to 2010 rose 1.9 million barrels to 208.4 million barrels. But sales of the top 20 brands dropped 10 million barrels to 149 million, a sign that Americans have turned to craft beers and imports.

24/7 Wall St. used two databases to do its analysis. One is kept by SymphonyIRI Group, one of the largest consumer research firms in the U.S. The other is from specialist research firm, beer marketer's INSIGHTS, Inc.

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Douglas A. McIntyre and Michael B. Sauter are editors of 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware-based financial news and opinion operation that produces content for sites including MarketWatch, DailyFinance, Yahoo! Finance, and TheStreet.com.

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