British beer sales kick-off with Euro 2016 football

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beer sales soared in the second-quarter
Beer sales soared in the second-quarter
An extra 31M pints of beer were sold between April and June, mainly thanks to the month-long televised feast of European Championship football – despite England’s failure at the second round stage – reveal new figures from The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The research signalled a temporary end to falling beer sales as second-quarter sales showed a 1.5% boost compared with last year, said the BBPA.

‘Real boost to sales’

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “These are yet more encouraging figures, and the football has given a real boost to sales.”

Held in France, Euro 2016 ran from June 10 to July 10, and was won by Portugal.

Off-trade sales from supermarkets and convenience stores increased by 4.8% compared with last year. That’s the equivalent of 112,000 extra barrels sold, or 18.5M cans of beer.

However, on-trade sales in pubs, restaurants and bars dropped 1.9% compared with last year.

Year-on-year, total beer sales had increased 1.2% compared with last year. About 316,000 extra barrels were sold this year compared with last.

Comparing 2004 to 2012, beer sales in the second-quarter dropped around 8M barrels.

However, Since 2013, that decline appeared to have stabilised. See the chart below to see the changing beer sales.

The changing trend in beer sales related to a reduction in beer duty (beer tax), said the BBPA. In March 2013, tax was reduced by one penny. Since then, there have been two extra one penny cuts in tax.

Huge debt of thanks

“It is quite clear we owe a huge debt of thanks to the cuts in beer duty from 2013”​, said Simmonds. “I hope the government continues with this pioneering change in approach, and we continue to see support for fairer taxes for British beer.”

Meanwhile, increased confidence in the sector prompted more investment, and more campaigns to promote beer sales.

‘Britain’s Beer Alliance’, a group of cross-industry brewers, believed its campaign ‘There’s a Beer for That’ had played a role in ending the industry’s sales decline.

There’s a Beer for That programme director David Cunningham said: “We can see the campaign messages of quality, diversity and versatility of beer, and our focus on encouraging people to pair different styles of beer with their meals, is beginning to have a positive impact on consumer perception behaviour.”

“This, in turn, is playing a part in the recovery of the category.”

UK second-quarter sales – at a glance

  • Q2 sales up 1.5% from last year
  • Off-trade sales up 4.8% from last year
  • On-trade sales down 1.2% from last year

Related topics: Drinks, People & Skills

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