Beer brand advertising and market share in the United States: 1977 to 1998

Gary B. Wilcox
The University of Texas at Austin


Since the early to mid1980s, US brewers have encountered a number of challenges in the marketplace. From a period of steady growth during the 1970s, the beer industry reached a sales plateau where the primary emphasis has been on competition between the leading companies (see Figure 1). During the past 10 to 12 years, market share battles have become the major objective of the surviving companies.

Central to this competition is advertising. Total media advertising expenditures for beer have increased fivefold from 1977 to 1998. In 1977 expenditures totalled $139.6 million and peaked in 1985 at $761.9 million. In 1998 brewers spent $752 million (Impact Databank, 1991, 1999).