UK: Off-trade beer sales fall faster than on-trade in Q4

By | 25 January 2013

UK beer sales are continuing to decline

UK beer sales are continuing to decline

Off-trade beer sales in the UK fell at a higher rate than on-trade sales in the last quarter of 2012, new figures have revealed. 

The British Beer & Pub Association's quarterly 'Beer Barometer', published today (25 January), shows that off-trade sales in the three months to the end of December were down by 7.5% year-on-year to the equivalent of 3.7m barrels. Sales in the on-trade were down by 4.8% to 3.6m barrels in the same period.

Overall UK beer sales dropped by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. 

The BBPA said the figures showed a “pressing need” for the UK Government to review its alcohol duty escalator in the upcoming Budget in March. Under the escalator system, duty is automatically raised 2% above inflation, currently until 2014/15. 

A major industry campaign against the measure has so far failed to change the Goverment's stance on the issue

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds, said: “We’ve had tax hikes of 42% since March 2008, which is hugely damaging and completely unacceptable for such an important manufacturing sector.” 

Figures released in September showed that UK on-trade beer sales in the on-trade still marginally outweigh sales in shops.

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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UK: Off-trade beer sales fall faster than on-trade in Q4

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