Drinking out spend declines but beer bounces back

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

The beer category has bounced backed after years in the doldrums
The beer category has bounced backed after years in the doldrums

Related tags Alcoholic drinks Alcoholic beverage Mintel

Beer, cider and Prosecco were the star alcoholic drinks performers last year, according to Mintel’s British Lifestyles report.

The British Lifestyles report​ found 35% of people spent less on drinking alcoholic drinks outside of the home in the past year, with similar numbers reducing spend on eating out.

But, following several years of declining sales, beer bounced back in 2014 as volumes rose by 1.3%, Mintel figures show.

Category winners

The food and drink research analysts found craft beer has garnered much of the credit for reigniting interest in the category, with many beer drinkers viewing these as higher quality than many of the mass-market brands, which remain prevalent.

Fruit-flavoured variants remain the star performers of the cider category even after several years of strong growth. Most cider brands have innovated with flavour and now have some form of flavoured cider within their portfolios.

Prosecco’s fortunes continue to bubble up, largely at the expense of Champagne. The reputation of Prosecco has improved significantly in recent years, with many wine drinkers seeing it as an acceptable, or even preferable, alternative to Champagne for special occasions.


Category losers were still wine continuing its steady decline; Champagne looking to fight off growth from other sparkling wines; and the ready-to-drink (RTD) market expected to struggle again as its key drinkers switch their allegiance to other categories.

Overall, Mintel said the alcoholic drinks market stagnated in 2014 after seeing growth between 2009 and 2013, when the market rose from £15.89bn to £18.04bn.

Alcoholic drinks remain popular with most Brits, despite rising prices. Duty cuts in recent Budgets have offered assistance to the industry, particularly in the beer market. However, the overall trend is negative as alcohol consumption per head continues to fall, the report said.

“The cost of drinking out of home has risen particularly sharply in the past decade, contributing to a significant downturn in pub visits and volume sales. The in-home channel, continues to weather the pressure,” it stated.

“Some 59% of adults are either maintaining or increasing their in-home spend on alcoholic drinks compared to 45% doing so out of home.”

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