Beer still number one drink in pubs

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Drinkers’ choice: beer accounts for almost half of all drinks sold in the on-trade
Drinkers’ choice: beer accounts for almost half of all drinks sold in the on-trade
Beer is still the most popular alcohol drink in the on-trade despite a general decline in consumption, new research has found.

Ahead of International Beer Day tomorrow (2 August) data experts CGA and its US-based consultancy Nielsen CGA found beer accounts for 48% of drinks sold in Britain and 44% sold in the US.

It discovered while cask sales have fallen by 9.8% in Britain during the past year and 9.3% in America, sales of imported beer, world beers, super premium lagers and craft beer continue to increase in both countries, led in part by the consumer demand for premium drinks.

CGA drinks expert Mark Jackson said: “Despite changing tastes and buying habits, beer is still the number one preferred beverage for the on-trade in Great Britain and the US.

“Premiumisation of the beer category has outpaced volume declines to realise an increase in dollar and pound sales value.

“We are seeing world lager in most growth in Britain and import and domestic super-premium leading the way in America.”

High-quality beer

Over the past 24 months, craft beer value sales in Britain have increased by a fifth (21.7%), world lager sales are also up by 26.5%.

Similar increases have been reported in the US with sales of craft beers up 4.5% and imported beers up 9.4%.

Jackson added: “Rather than buying high volumes of cheap beer, consumers here and in America are opting for lower volumes of higher quality beer.”

However, there is a big different between the UK and American when it comes to how consumers drink their beer.

Nielsen CGA beer expert Matt Drummond said: “It is also worth noting how beer sells best in each region, with one stark difference being the serve preference.

“In America, consumers reach for the bottle or can, while British consumers overwhelmingly purchase draught. Either way, International Beer Day is a great opportunity to raise a pint and celebrate the wonderful concoction of water, barley, hops and yeast.”

Increased tendency

The research stated today’s beer drinkers across both markets generally have higher household incomes and an increased tendency to eat and drink out.

In Britain, beer drinkers earn an average household income of £41,000 with almost half (49%) of them eating out and 41% of them drinking out weekly.

In America, beer consumers earn an average of $71,000 (approximately £58,400), with almost three quarters (73%) of them eating out and 35% drinking out on a weekly basis.

However, beer drinkers across both markets have an older profile (aged between 35 and over 55), with younger drinkers (18 to 34-year-olds (21 to 34 in the US)) the least engaged beer consumers and showing the most dramatic decline in beer consumption since 2017.

In Britain, younger consumers prefer to drink lager (23%) and craft beer (14%) while across The Pond, they choose craft beer (51%), domestic non-craft (51%) and imported beer (47%).

Jackson said: “As a key consumer group that is losing interest in the beer category, understanding and targeting the shifting preferences of younger drinkers is key, as is offering a wide selection of beers that are attractive to this younger population.”

Related topics: Beer

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