UHY Hacker Young, which is one of the UK’s top 20 accountancy firms, partner James Simmonds explained people drinking at home during the various lockdowns replaced beer with wine or spirits as many felt beer was better suited to longer, social drinking sessions.
He said: “The pandemic saw a sudden shift in people’s drinking habits, with a move away from beer.
Flooding back to beer
“That seems to have been temporary [as] we are now seeing consumers flooding back to beer.”
During lockdown, wine sales increased from 84m litres sold in 2019 to 112m in 2020, while spirits sales increased from 7.4m litres sold to 10.9m over the same period.
However, both categories have suffered a drop in sales since pubs reopened, with 5.2m less bottles of wine sold and 1.8m less bottles of spirits sold in 2021 compared to 2020.
Beer, however, has seen a resurgence in popularity since pubs re-opened, with 4.61bn litres of beer sold in 2021, having reached 98% of pre-pandemic levels, with 4.71bn litres of beer sold in 2019, according to the UHY Hacker Young study.
Welcome sales boost
This comes as last month saw ‘Super Saturday’ (19 March) 11.5m pints of beer and cider sold during the culmination of the Guinness Six Championships Rugby Tournament.
As reported in The Morning Advertiser (MA) last week, the cost of a pint has been forecasted to increase by 20p according to Night-Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, as the cost of a pint sees the biggest increase in 10 years, with JD Wetherspoons having already increased the cost of pint by 10p across its sites, rising to 20p in its London sites.
Simmonds added: “It was a good summer for beer sales, with football’s European Championships providing a welcome sales boost for pubs.”