Budweiser becomes king of UK supermarkets

15 December, 2017

Budweiser is the fastest-growing product of 2017 in UK supermarkets, ahead of Monster energy drinks and avocados.

Sales rose £49.2 million in the past year for AB InBev’s lager, which has benefited from a marketing drive and limited editions.

Marketers have long dubbed it the king of beers, and it has now become king of UK shelves, as its growth vastly outstripped that of its closest competitors.

Spirits, sparkling wine and ale all feature in the top 10 categories showing the strongest growth in UK supermarkets over the past year.

Nielsen data for the past 12 months showed that fresh fruit was the only category to grow value at a faster rate than spirits, which is driven by gin’s superb performance.

Fresh fruit sales grew £176.4 million, followed by spirits at £152.3 million and then free-from (items without dairy or gluten) at £146.6 million.

Sparkling wine was fourth on the list as sales were up 10.7%, which added £80.3 million to the category. Ale and stout grew 6%, an increase of £40.6 million, leaving it eighth on Nielsen’s list.

“Supermarkets have done a good job at protecting shoppers from the brunt of rising costs, however, it’s still been an anxious year for households about their grocery bills,” said Ian Mansley, Nielsen’s head of grocery analytics. “Despite rising prices, shoppers still want to treat themselves with good quality and healthier food but also indulging and enjoying oneself by drinking and dining more at home, particularly if households look to cut costs by not going out as much.”

He added the uncertain and turbulent year has also impacted grocery shopping habits in other ways as illustrated by the “growth of challenger brands such as Fever Tree and Brewdog which shows consumers want something different and exciting that meets their changing tastes and lifestyle”.

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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