Beer sales expected to rise 1.3% in 2014

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Craft beer Beer

Beer: Sales expected to rise
Beer: Sales expected to rise
After five years of decline, volume sales of beer for 2014 are expected to rise 1.3% to 4.24bn litres, according to new research from Mintel.

The figures show lager is expected to drive the market, with volume sales predicted to be up by 1.7%.

Mintel's research shows craft beer continuing to lead premiumisation in the category, with 34% of drinkers saying they would be prepared to pay more for craft beers, rising to 43% among 25-34s.

However, 36% said they were unsure what the term 'craft beer' actually means with 31% saying they would like to understand more about the drink.

Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said: "While craft beer is often defined on grounds of volume production, the segment has instead come to encapsulate an ethos and benchmark for producing high-quality or different types of beers.

"Rather than just stating that they are a craft beer, brewers should clearly state how they justify this positioning, for example via their small production batches or use of unique or interesting ingredients."

Mintel said while ale sales have been ascending, up from 885m litres in 2013 to an estimated 891m litres in 2014, stout sales continue to slide.

When it comes to beer preferences, 54% of people drank lager in the six months to September 2014, while 26% opted for ale and 21% drank bitter. 20% drunk craft beer in the past six months overall - rising to 31% of 25-34s and 24% of 18-24s.

Volume sales of cider are expected to fall by 0.8% to 949m litres in 2014, down from 957m litres in 2013.

Mintel's research shows 57% of consumers drank cider in the 12 months to October 2014, with 44% drinking apple, 31% pear, and 29% fruit-flavoured cider. The 'craft' element of cider was considered under-developed compared to beer - but 14% still reported drinking craft cider last year.

Wisson said: "Some of cider's momentum appears to have been lost to a rejuvenated beer category, which is seeing strong growth from various segments such as craft and world/global beers."

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