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Italy beer market: Retail sales fall -2% during 2012
Italy Beer Market Insights 2013 - a new market research report on 2014-04-22 02:37:02
Retail sales in the Italy beer market declined by 2.2% in 2012 compared to 2011. The year on year decline was the result of a decline of -0.8% in sales of food and a 2.8% decrease in sales of non-food goods.

Italy faces deteriorating macro-economic climate and growing political instability. Consumer confidence fell during the first half of the year, reaching a record low in June, before stabilizing, albeit at a very low level. In 2012, GDP decreased by 2.4% compared with the previous year.

The Italian market remains dominated by pale lager-style beers, which continued to account for a stable share of just over 94% of all local consumption. Lager is perceived as light, versatile and easy to drink with moderate alcohol content and remains the beer type most favored by Italian consumers.

PL brands grew by over 14% in 2012, principally owing to the unfavorable economic climate. Until recently PL brands have suffered from a low quality image and the Italian consumer has generally trusted branded products more, preferring to drink less rather than renounce the guarantee of quality offered by the traditional brands.

As part of the global Heineken initiative "Brewing a Better Future" launched in April 2010, Heineken Italia has already initiated specific projects in order to reduce the consumption of energy and water, increase the safety and involvement of employees and promote the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Draft beer is nevertheless increasingly perceived by consumers to be the genuine beer experience, offering the freshest and highest quality beer. As a consequence, the consumption of draft beer is significantly higher in the north of Italy where the beer culture is more developed.

Owing to growing consumer price sensitivity, discount brands enjoyed double-digit growth in the modern retail channel, principally driven by locally produced PL brands, such as the Coop PL brand which was introduced in 2011. Super premium brands also continued to make strong gains in the modern retail channel, benefiting from the increased range on offer.

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