Beer sales were up last year in France, according to Les Brasseurs de France

Beer sales were up last year in France, according to Les Brasseurs de France

Beer sales in France recorded an increase in 2009, the first rise since 2003, according to recent figures.

In volume terms, sales of beer in the country last year were up by 1.6% on 2008, coming in at 19.5m hectolitres, brewers trade association Les Brasseurs de France said late last week.

The return to growth was largely due to the continued success in the country of premium and speciality beers, Les Brasseurs de France's president, Gérard Laloi, told just-drinks.

“If we take retail sales, which represent more than 75% of the total, they were up 3% in 2009, with an increase of 9.5% in premium volumes and of 5.7% for the speciality segment,” said Laloi. “In value terms, they were up respectively by 11.1% and 9.4%.

“They (premium and speciality) now represent something like 56% of retail sales in volume and 69% in value.”

Another factor contributing to last year's growth was that the steady decline over the past few years in so-called traditional beers was more or less checked - volumes fell by only 1.8% compared to a value rise of 1.7%. “This was largely due to spells of heatwave-type weather,” Laloi added. “Traditional beer consumption is very sensitive to temperature changes.”
 
Preliminary sales figures for the first quarter of 2010 pointed to stability compared to the same period last year, “which is a good sign as we enter the peak months for the market”, Laloi added.