Report says beer quality is paramount

Related tags Beer

Consumers are far more concerned about the quality of the beer they drink than they are about the ownership of the brewery or the pub it came from,...

Consumers are far more concerned about the quality of the beer they drink than they are about the ownership of the brewery or the pub it came from, according to a new report.

Interbrew UK has warned in its latest market report that the trade needs to stay focused on delivering high-quality products and good customer service during the current period of consolidation in both brewing and pub ownership.

Interbrew managing director Stewart Gilliland said: "During such a period of upheaval, the danger is that the industry will become too inward looking instead of focusing on what is important - the consumer.

"It is vital the industry satisfies changing consumer tastes by putting all its energies behind improving the point-of-purchase experience."

The Interbrew report shows a one per cent increase in on-trade beer sales in the year to the end of June, but a two per cent fall in volume, suggesting that customers are drinking less beer but buying more premium brands.

The report warns that beer is increasingly having to compete for "share of throat" in pubs with other drinks.

But Mr Gilliland praised the efforts of pub operators such as Punch and Laurel, which have launched training and cask ale quality initiatives.

Alongside Interbrew's own quality serve programme for Stella Artois, the report praises rivals Guinness UDV, with its Guinness Extra Cold brand extension, and London brewer Fuller's for the improved quality and presentation of London Pride.

He emphasised that such initiatives will be crucial this Christmas.

Interbrew facts and figures

  • on-trade beer sales in the year to July 2001 were up one per cent to 12,136 million, but beer volumes fell two per cent to just under 22 million barrels.
  • the top 10 beer brands accounted for 55 per cent of on-trade sales compared to 51 per cent the year before.

Related topics Beer

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