Beer has gained market share over wine

Beer has gained market share over wine

Beer has extended its market share lead over wine in the UK for the first time since 2006, new figures show.

The brewing industry saw its share of throat rise last year by 1% to 36%, while wine's share slipped to around 33%, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) reported today. Spirits market share remained constant at 21%, with cider at 8%.

The BBPA noted that beer's UK market share has slipped every year since 1995, with the exception of a “blip” in 2006. In January, it was reported that UK beer volumes rose in 2014 for the first year in nearly a decade.

The latest figures, compiled by the BBPA and based on HM Revenue & Customs alcohol tax returns, also revealed that UK alcohol consumption in 2014 fell for the eighth year in the last ten, down 0.3%. Per capita alcohol consumption in the UK is now at its lowest level this century, the trade group said.

“It is hugely encouraging to see such a solid performance from beer in 2014,” said Brigid Simmonds, the BBPA's chief executive.

The UK Government has cut beer duty in the last two Budgets, and has scrapped the alcohol duty escalator, which had meant automatic excise duty rate increases. The UK has also witnessed an on-going renaissance in brewing, with CAMRA last year reporting an 18% rise in the number of breweries in London.

“There is no doubt that two cuts in beer duty have had a huge impact in supporting a British-based industry and in encouraging consumers back towards our favourite, lower-strength drink,” added Simmonds. 

The BBPA is calling for a third beer duty cut in next Wednesday's UK Budget. The country's wine and spirits industry has also been campaigning for a reduction in excise rates through its 'Drop the Duty' campaign.