Haigh spoke after Miller Brands revealed research showing £1 in every £4 spent on beer in London was on a super-premium beer.
“Spirits have done super-premium for years,” he told the PMA. “This segmentation is something that people are already familiar with, are looking for and its future in beer has been helped by the craft-beer movement.”
However, beer brands and pubs had to meet five key points before being able to command higher prices for the beers, he added.
The five points were:
- Brand story
- Experience – the serve and glassware
- Visual identity – the use of the logo and correct glassware
If brands and pubs can achieve these five points, then customers will pay a premium price for their pint.
“If you get all of those five things right, then they [customers] will allow you the sixth point, which is a higher price,” Haigh explained.
“But, if you price it too low then there’s no trust [from the customer] in the beer because they think ‘how can it be super-premium, when you’re so cheap?’”
Modern craft-beer brands have got the five points right and have been hitting the five points and charging a premium for their beers. But now mainstream brands had to get it right too.
“We have seen super-premium beers encouraging consumers to trade up [from standard] in the on-trade,” the beer boss added.
‘Average spend on food is higher’
“Consumers will drink super-premium, and their average spend on things like food is around 51% higher than those who drink standard beer too.”
Current trends, he explained, point towards a rise in consumer interest in beers that command a higher price point, such as Miller Brands’ Peroni and Pilsner Urquell.
“I think we can do a better job of telling people the efforts that go into getting these two beers to the UK.
“We get Peroni in from Italy and Pilsner Urquell is unpasteurised and shipped in tanks from the Czech Republic,” he said.
Yesterday (18 May), Miller Brands reported a rise in new producer revenue of 5% during the 12 months to 31 March 2016.
Meanwhile, beer and cider trends will be the headline topic at the PMA's first Future Trends: Beer and Cider event on 22 June in London.
See the full agenda and details on how to book by visiting www.FutureTrendsBeerandCider.co.uk