Falling beer sales give brewers a headache
Published:  13 June, 2008

As beer enters its crucial summer sales period new figures have underlined how much the sector is struggling.

Nielsen sales figures for the year to April 19, obtained by OLN, show that ale and lager were both down 2% in value in the British take-home trade. Stout sales were down 1%.

To add to brewersí woes, the news was even worse in the on-trade, where beers sales were down 5% over the same period.

The previous Nielsen off-trade data, for the year to February 23, had shown beer sales to be static. The latest figures come at a time when brewers were already fearing a downturn thanks to the home nationsí failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 football tournament.

Ciderís off-trade boom continues, with sales up 21% in the take-home sector, a performance eclipsed only by golden rumís 26% increase.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle Ė which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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