Beer sales bounce back at expense of cider

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Beer sales have bounced back in 2014 as cider sales begin to slow down, according to Mintel
Beer sales have bounced back in 2014 as cider sales begin to slow down, according to Mintel

Related tags Cent Ale Beer Mintel Uk

UK beer sales have bounced back after five consecutive years of decline, according to the latest research from Mintel.

The Beer UK 2014 report predicted that beer sales will rise 1.3 per cent to an estimated 4.24bn litres in 2014.

Lager sales are expected to show the biggest growth, up an estimated 1.7 per cent to 3.17bn, while ale sales are expected to climb from 885m litres in 2013 to an estimated 891m litres in 2014.

Stout sales have continued to decline, and Mintel predicts they will fall to 183m litres in 2014.

Mintel said that over half (54 per cent) of Brits drank lager in the six months to September 2014, while a quarter (26 per cent) drank ale and one in five (21 per cent) chose bitter.

Craft beer continued to drive premiumisation in the category, with 34 per cent of beer drinkers stating that they would be prepared to pay more for craft beer, rising to 43 per cent among 25-34 year olds.

“Pressures on household finances, health concerns and competition from other markets have led to significant volume sales decline over the past five years for the beer market,” said Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel.

“However, 2014 has seen volume sales finally bounce back into growth, buoyed by a warm summer and the football World Cup."

Cider decline

The rise of beer appears to have come at the expense of cider sales, which have slowed after several years of impressive growth.

According to Mintel’s predictions, volume sales of cider will fall by 0.8 per cent to 949m litres in 2014, down from 957m litres in 2013.

Value sales are expected to growth by just 1 per cent in 2014, compared to 6 per cent growth in 2013 and 10 per cent growth in 2012.

Pear cider saw the biggest decline, with retail value sales expected to plummet by 29 per cent this year. Apple cider sales are expected to remain relatively flat, while fruit-flavoured sales appear to have bucked the trend and are forecast to rise by over a third in 2014.

“Despite the significant recent growth of the cider category, volume sales are surprisingly estimated to dip slightly in 2014. Some of cider’s momentum appears to have been lost to a rejuvenated beer category, which is seeing strong growth from various segments such as craft and world/global beers,” said Wisson.

“Fruit-flavoured cider benefits from being seen as a fashionable and innovative segment of the market, two attributes which have been key in driving growth by appealing to Millennials in particular.”

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