Craft beer’s volume sales fell by 1% in the 12 months to 5 October 2019, when compared with the previous year, according to CGA.
Commercial director Graeme Loudon laid out these statistics and alluded to the reasons why at Drink Tank this (27 November) at London’s Cavendish Conference Centre in America Square.
Deep dive into data
He said: “Draught is still in growth, driven by new distribution points but rate of sale is actually in decline.
“Whereas packaged craft dropped by 9% and this trend is driven by both losing stockists and rate of sale decline.
“Packaged has actually been in volume decline for a little while but was being propped up slightly by increasing distribution, however with the distribution now in slight decline, volume declines have accelerated to the point that the whole category is now in decline.
“Draught is now at a similar point to where packaged was 18 months ago, so warning signs are ahead here.
“We have seen for a while that craft has been pushed into outlets it isn’t right for and it seems now those outlets have realised the category isn’t working for them and are therefore, delisting.
“The outlets that are sticking it out aren’t seeing the sales, therefore rate of sale continues to decline for the category.”
While the category brought new drinkers in, the demographic of those who consume craft has changed, Loudon said.
He added: “There is no doubt craft has added a significant amount of drinkers into the category over the past three years, being one of the big success stories in the market has brought 2m more consumers to the table.
“However, the make up of the consumer base has changed significantly. Now, much less younger consumers and a growing percentage of older consumers who drink the category.
“The older, blue collar consumers who drive demand for tried and trusted. They are looking for brands they know as they first enter the category and have less of an explorer nature.”