Analysis

How does the on-trade in the UK and US compare? - Nielsen figures - Focus

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Earlier this week, data company Nielsen CGA has released its first market report to compare the US on-trade with the UK's. The 52-week comparison forms part of Nielsen's new On-Premise Measurement Program, the first programme the company has launched that offers a fully-projected on-trade measure for the US alcohol market. Here are some of the key takeaways (US numbers 52 weeks to 30 January; UK numbers 52 weeks to 23 January):

The US and UK on-trades are seeing declines in beer

The US and UK on-trades are seeing declines in beer

Spirits

  • US on-trade volume growth outperforms the UK in spirits (+3.6% vs +1.3%) with a slightly poorer trend in beer (-3.8% vs -3.1%)
  • In the US, total spirits volumes are more than six times those of GB in a market that is 2.5 times the size in terms of number of outlets (233,000 vs 120,000 outlets) with 4.6 times the legal-drinking-age population
  • Vodka is the number one spirits category across both markets, US 29% share of spirits (GB 33%)
  • Whisk(e)y share of spirits in the US is far higher than the UK (26% vs 17%), with strong growth of 4.8% in US vs -1.1% decline in the UK. Nielsen says the US strength is due to the strong performance of the Bourbon segment.
  • Tequila has five times the share of spirits in US (11%) compared to the UK (2%), although strong growth rates exist in both markets (+9.9% in US compared to +8% in UK)
  • Gin, and particularly premium gins, continue to grow in the UK at 13.6% compared to the US where the gin segment is declining by 2.2%
  • Rum has a similar share of spirits in US (12%) and the UK (10%) and demonstrates growth in both countries, although growth is slower in the US than in the UK (+2.4% v +6%, respectively)

Beer

  • Both the US and UK are seeing long-term declines in the number of beer-led premises such as the neighbourhood bar and local pub, which is one factor behind the beer struggles in both markets (U.S. -3.8%; UK -3.1%)
  • Despite the US on-trade drawing on 4.6 times the legal drinking age population, UK consumers drink one beer for every two consumed in the US
  • A more mature US craft segment has a greater share (31%) but slower growth (1%) suggesting an opportunity to export into the UK, a market hungry for innovation
  • The UK's craft category looks to be a few years behind its US counterpart, demonstrating significant growth (+40.0%) but accounting for just 4% share of the overall beer category
  • Conversely, the UK figures would suggest there is headroom for cider in the US on-premise - UK cider has 12.3% share of beer & cider and is growing at 0.9%, while cider in the US has 1.8% share of beer & cider and is growing at 5.4%.

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