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United Kingdom beer market: Sales volume decline witnessed despite high profile events
UK Beer Market Insights 2013 - a new market research report on 2014-04-21 23:33:01
Despite high expectations during 2012, with a high profile European Football Tournament, the Queen´s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, sales volumes in the United Kingdom beer market fell in every quarter of 2012. A deterioration in demand at Christmas capped another disappointing year. The tax cut on 2.8% Abv beer has prompted a surge in sales of lower Abv beers.

The Duty rise of 5% was expected but what could not be legislated for were the appalling weather conditions that plagued the country during much of the summer. The impact significantly lowered refreshment requirements and was as instrumental in pushing down consumption as the stagnant economy.

Losses from the big brands are prompting a cider rush with brewers now looking to move into the cider market. A healthier consumer with more cosmopolitan tastes has emerged in recent years, prompting a shift to wine and other alcoholic markets. Consumers have become more adventurous with their refreshment choices, and importantly, consumers seem to be spending more on their beer but drinking less of it.

Foster´s is the new number one UK brand but the key story of 2012 has been the performance of the top ten UK beer brands, which all contracted during the twelve months.

The intense lobbying to end the Duty Escalator was rewarded in 2013 when the government, perhaps influenced by the depressed state of the industry in 2012 and falling revenues, opted to end the unpopular measure.

The tax cut on 2.8% Abv beer has prompted a surge in sales of lower Abv beers. Some companies launched new products while others like Carlsberg lowered the Abv of existing brands, such as Skol, to capitalize on the lower price.

Microbrewers continue to flourish on the declining big brands. The microbrewery boom continued unabated in 2012 as the tax differential helps them compete favorably with bigger producers.

Curry house brand Cobra Beer was helped by a £4 m campaign in 2012 and responded with some growth - the move was part funded by a drop in Abv to 4.8%. The future brings an interesting duel with rival Kingfisher, which will now be marketed and distributed by Heineken UK.

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