Beer - Europe - October 2011
Both on-trade and retail sales of beer continued to decline in 2010 across Europe. A general decline in alcohol consumption, combined with depressed consumer spending, was behind weak volume demand and growing price sensitivity.
Drinking habits are changing under the influence of healthier lifestyles, anti-alcohol campaigns, strict drink-drive regulations and an ageing population.
Some key points covered in the report include:
- Flavour innovation around flavour is driving beer markets and attracting new drinkers. This is seen in the growing interest for world and speciality beers, fruit flavoured beers, cask ales and craft beers. How can the potential of this interest be maximised?
- Non-mainstream beers are responding to consumers’ desire for new taste experiences away from standard lager. However, specialist beers have a small share in comparison with standard lager and much less exposure in the on-trade, although their presence on supermarket shelves is growing. How can specialist beer manufacturers redress this balance?
- Consumers across Europe are responding positively to beers with local character and heritage. To what extent has this helped to boost value added growth and introduce new products?
- Beer markets are opening up in an effort to attract more customers. Beer is losing its all-male image and offering varieties that are targeted at women. Have these varieties proven successful?
- In the UK, ales are losing the ‘old man’ image and attracting younger drinkers, while in Europe they are attracting a wider clientele beyond dedicated beer connoisseurs. How can this trend be taken further?
- To what extent has the migration of consumers to the off-trade, as a result of the recession, helped to boost retail sales, especially of canned beer?
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