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Beer - Take Stock Magazine

What’s Trending with Beer?

With the new year upon us, operators will be looking at what beer brands to stock, and what’s on trend. To make sure you make the most of your beer offering, Take Stock spoke to Ashley Cairns of CGA to find out what they have to say about 2019.


‘Premiumisation’ is not a new phenomenon but its development over the last 10 years has been unstoppable in the on trade and consumer demand for premium quality in beers, wines, spirits and mixers is heading towards becoming the norm throughout the licensed sector. So, have a good hard look at what you’re offering your customers, to make sure there is a clear path from house, through to premium and where appropriate with your clientele, super premium.

Long alcohol drinks

Although sales of long alcohol drinks (LADs) are in steady decline, like almost all drinks categories there are premium offers you can stock to mitigate that general decline. What’s important in the world of LADs is to seek out the ones that will give you the biggest positive impact.

Cask beer – the leading growth category in LAD is premium keg bitter (up by 38% this year). This is the primary product category where you find craft beer, a great innovative success for the on trade over the past five years – with draught craft keg making inroads into sales of ‘traditional’ keg.

Craft beer – still a small sector – between 5% and 7% of total beer – but you need to focus on your craft beer offering, as value percentage growth exceeds any other category. There are more successful growing brands in craft than in any other, aided by massive diversity and speed to market.

World lager – this category has doubled in volume sales in the last five years, now accounting for 8% of all LAD sales. The category is now the fourth largest in LAD for the on trade.Cider – as a whole, cider has gone through much innovation and brand development – often focusing upon its heritage and authenticity. In the case of this sector, the key innovation has been modern tasting fruit ciders which have been driving the growth from within the whole cider category. All cider is now over 13% of all LAD sales and cider sales have outperformed the LAD trend every year by 3 to 4 percentage points in the past five years.

Draught lager – the largest category, standard draught lager is under pressure from the above categories, but also from outside – particularly by spirits. With all that said though, draught standard lager accounts for 37% of all LAD sales and will still be the dominant category for many years to come.

Take Stock’s top picks

Lower/light alcohol lager- Coors Light has shown a 17.9% increase in volume sales. Look at Bud Light too.

Low and no-alcohol beer – Beck’s Blue is still the top seller, but Heineken 0.0 is gaining traction in the sector. New offerings include Old Speckled Hen 0.5% brew.

Craft Beer – Brewdog Punk IPA is number one in this small, but vocal sector, followed by Camden Hells and Brooklyn Lager. Watch out for Shipyard and Camden Pale Ale – both growing sales fast.

Premium Lager – In this sector Peroni continues to drive the market. Watch out though, San Miguel and Amstel are catching up!

Premium Beer – Doom Bar continues its domination, followed by Greene King IPA. There is real growth with ‘local’ brews too – Ruddles and Wainwrights being notable players.

Cider- Strongbow is still the top seller, however sales of Strongbow Dark Fruit are up nearly 40% – well on track to be in the top spot this time next year.

Kombucha – the next big thing!

Fast gaining a cult following amongst millennials, this is a virtually non-alcoholic drink that is said to have health giving properties. Created from yeast and bacterial fermentation of a sweet tea, the drink is light, sparkling and delicate in flavour. Lead the way and get some in stock!

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