2010 may be tough for beer sales

By Gemma McKenna

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer

A good summer may help beer sales
A good summer may help beer sales
A drinks analyst has made gloomy predictions for the coming months — with Christmas set to be 'at best flat' and the first part of 2010 'extremely tough'

A drinks analyst has made gloomy predictions for the coming months — with Christmas set to be 'at best flat' and the first part of 2010 'extremely tough'.

However, AC Nielsen consultant Graham Page said 'discovery' brands and standard premium lagers are providing a much-needed lift.

Nielsen predicted there would be no respite for the trade until towards Easter, as AC Nielsen data showed an 8 per cent fall in on trade volumes to September 2009.

But he added: “If we have half a chance of a good summer, and especially south of the border (in England) with the World Cup, this should really boost trade.”

Premium lagers

Glimmers of light amid the gloomy predictions came within the premium lagers — although Page said overall “the figures weren’t good at all”.

He said some 'discovery' brands, like “new kids on the block” Peroni, were 'having a fantastic time' as consumers were 'constantly on the look out for something new and different'.

He also predicted that the next major international brands to arrive on the UK scene would be from the Far East.

Page said standard premium lagers, including Becks Vier and Stella 4 per cent, were 'doing rather better than the premiums'.

“As the recession eases and the economy picks up, the category will start to see the easing of significant declines. We won’t see declines of 6, 7 or 8 per cent in the next few months.”

The Scottish market showed surprising resilience: beer volumes fell 3 per cent, with the national average down 8 per cent. Page said Scottish traders were now 'looking after smokers’ interests' by investing in facilities. A rise in food and wine sales also helped.

American model

Pubs will ape the American and European model as they evolve with changing customer demands, predicts Page.

He said that 'despite what we hear from the Government', heavier drinkers are no longer going to the pub.

Page forecasts that within 15 years, top-end sites will have evolved from traditional wet-led British pubs to follow the American/European model of a combined pub, bar and restaurant venue.

Gemma McKenna is senior reporter at BigHospitality's sister publication The Morning Advertiser www.morningadvertiser.co.uk

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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