Discounting fears fail to materialise

05 February, 2010

Pre-Christmas fears of a pricing bloodbath in the take-home market appear to have been unfounded, according to new Nielsen figures.

The figures show value sales growing faster than volumes in key product categories.

The total value of take-home alcohol sales was up 6% in the year to December 26, to £13.8 billion, compared to a 2% uplift in volume sales.

Value growth of beer was 4% in the same period, at just short of £3.5 billion, compared with a 1% drop in volume.

Nielsen analyst Graham Page said there had been a focus on smaller multipacks by the major brewers in a bid to “rebuild shattered margins”.

“Virtually every brewer in the UK is announcing price increases,” he said. “They have to find a way of trying to build margins. This Christmas a focus on 10, 12 and 15-packs meant less people bought 18 and 24-packs, so volume inevitably dropped,” he said.

The figures conflict with earlier reported data from the British Beer & Pub Association which suggested off-trade beer sales fell 3.1% in 2009, the largest fall in over 30 years.

In wine, Nielsen reported 6% value growth in 2009, ahead of volume increases of 3%, and there were identical value and volume growth figures for spirits.

“There’s been a big reduction in the under-£3 bottle sector and a lot of movement in the £4-£5 category,” said Page.

The widely-anticipated point when off-trade beer volumes surpass those of the on-trade edged closer, with the take-home market now accounting for 43% of all beer sold in the UK.

British wine, golden rum and cream liqueurs were the fastest-growing off-trade categories by both value and volume in 2009.




Bookmark this


Site Search

COMMENT

The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

Click for more »
Upcoming events

Polls

Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know

Twitter