Beer sales slump 8.2% in first quarter

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fewer pints, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Pub association, Bbpa

Beer sales are falling
Beer sales are falling
Beer sales fell by 8.2% in the first quarter of 2009 on last year — the biggest drop in since 1997. A staggering 3.6m fewer pints are being drunk each day than 10 years ago.

Beer sales plummeted by 8.2% in the first quarter of 2009 on last year — the biggest drop since 1997.

The figures, from the British Beer and Pub Association's (BBPA) Beer Barometer, come just days after the Chancellor ignored industry pleas for a duty freeze and shoved a further 2% duty on alcohol.

Around 1.7m fewer pints were drunk every day from January to March than the same period in 2007 and a staggering 3.6m pints down each day on ten years ago.

Beer sales in pubs were down 6.3% on last year — equating to 753,000 fewer pints every day. A total of 68m fewer pints were sold in the on-trade for the quarter.

But supermarket sales have also been hit hard — down 11%. It is the third quarter of decline for sales in the off-trade and the first time since 2005 that first quarter off-trade beer sales have fallen.

Overall, beer sales for the year to March 2009 fell 7% on the year to March 2007. On-trade sales were down 8.9% and off-trade sales fell by 4.5%.

Tax income from duty in January and February was down £17m on the same period in 2008, despite an 18% tax increase during the period.

"These figures provide more telling evidence of the intense pressure in one of Britain's most important sectors," said BBPA interim chief executive David Long.

"Falling beer sales means more publicans struggling to keep their pub doors open.

"Closing pubs means tens of thousands of job losses and the heart taken out of many communities.

"With the Budget last week, Government tax policy continues to make this situation worse, despite widespread public and political support for the Axe the Beer Tax — Save the Pub campaign."

Related topics: Legislation, Beer

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