UK: Beer sales drop 5% in Q2

By | 26 July 2013

UK on-trade beer sales are continuing to suffer

UK on-trade beer sales are continuing to suffer

UK beer sales fell by nearly 5% in this year's second quarter, but the decline in the off-trade slowed. 

Total beer sales in the three months to June were down by 4.8%, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) reported today (26 July). Off-trade sales fell by 3.6% in the period, but this was the lowest second-quarter fall since 2005.

Sales of beer in shops and supermarkets were flat year-on-year in the first quarter.

The UK's on-trade continues to suffer, with beer sales in this year's Q2 down 5.8%. This follows a 5.5% decrease in the first three months of the year.

The BBPA flagged that the second-quarter figures were set against last year's Q2 that included the European Football Championships, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and a double Bank Holiday.

Brigid Simmonds, the BBPA's chief executive, said: “The figures clearly show that the market ... is still very challenging.”

Yesterday, Kent brewer and pub company, Shepherd Neame, announced details of a new logsitics deal which will see it up its focus on international sales. 

Earlier this year, the UK Government cancelled its controversial alcohol duty escalator on beer, but left it in place for wine and spirits. 

Expert analysis

Beer in the United Kingdom

In 2011 beer sales remained weak due to the ongoing and growing consumer concern about government spending cuts on jobs and incomes, which continues to constrain consumer spending. Total volume sales of beer declined by 5%, a more dramatic decline compared to the previous year and slightly sharper than the review period total volume CAGR. This was due to ongoing beer tax increases in March, with beer seeing excise duty increased two percentage points above the level of inflation at 5%. This tax...

Sectors: Beer & cider, The off-trade, The on-trade

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