Blog post

On-trade sales a worry amid competitive beer market


There were two responses that stood out from the rest as the main challenges for the sector – the increasing number of products in the market and a perceived worry over on-trade sales.


64% think that the beer industry is an over-crowded marketplace

Since the 2002 Progressive Beer Duty legislation the number of UK breweries has risen to over 1400.

New craft beers like Meantime Lager, Brooklyn Lager and BrewDog are making waves and competing with the established products like Heineken, Guinness and Fosters.

The overall picture shows that UK alcohol consumption has decreased and is currently at a 16 year low but beer’s share of the drinks market actually increased by 1% (to 36%). Many respondents to the survey commented that “lifestyles are changing” and “as alcoholic drinks consumption shrinks innovation will be the key to success.

With an increasing number of products available and a savvier consumer the need for companies to elevate their brand is becoming more and more important to them achieving market share. This is something we have previously commented on – read our blog post: Is craft beer really changing the beer landscape?


43% think that on-trade sales might struggle over the next 12 months


In January, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) reported that off-trade volume sales of beer had overtaken on-trade sales over a calendar year for the first time on record.

The off-trade market continues to excel alongside the on-trade with “consumer habits changing” towards events and occasions away from pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

The below graphic shows the decline in on-trade volume sales from 2012 to 2015:


Our full report also looks at the where the opportunities currently lie in the industry and tells you who the industry regards as the top 3 innovators. 

You can find a copy of the full report here

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