BEER IMPORTS MAY BE DOWN, BUT THEY'RE NOT OUT

In the beer aisle, domestic still rules. Yet as imports' consumption grows, retailers are giving them more space and promotion to buoy an otherwise stagnant category.Imported beer represented 11% of the market in 2003, or $12.3 billion, up from 4% in 1992, London-based Datamonitor reported. While its growth may be moderating -- volume advanced just 1.8% in 2003, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.,

In the beer aisle, domestic still rules. Yet as imports' consumption grows, retailers are giving them more space and promotion to buoy an otherwise stagnant category.

Imported beer represented 11% of the market in 2003, or $12.3 billion, up from 4% in 1992, London-based Datamonitor reported. While its growth may be moderating -- volume advanced just 1.8% in 2003, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., New York -- it's still among the few expanding areas in beer. Datamonitor forecasted

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