Despite stalled sales recently, the beer and cider categories still have potential with Christmas around the corner.
By Elena Dimama
The cost-of-living crisis and the subsequent squeeze in disposable incomes could be a double-edged sword for alcohol sales, but the beer and cider category is still one to watch.
Although less disposable income means less spending, people have also been less inclined to visit pubs and restaurants, instead of eating and drinking at home.
The big picture
Despite total beer volumes going down, premium world lagers, craft and low/no categories are in demand.
According to TWC, beer and lager sales are declining around -6% in both GB and within Scotland, with cider falling more heavily in Scotland vs GB.
“The ‘drinking less but better’ trend is still very much prevalent, which has seen consumers increasingly willing to spend more to treat themselves to premium and super-premium lager brands, which is in turn driving increased value in-store,” John Price, Head of Marketing at KBE Drinks, says.
“Trading your customers up to these premium world lagers, such as our very own Sapporo, Kingfisher and Sagres, is a great move for convenience retailers, as they are bang on trend and can typically be charged at a minimum of 30% more than other more mainstream options. And with Christmas on the horizon, many people are in celebratory mood and even more willing to treat themselves to something premium.”
Stay ahead of the game
“Sporting events will increase sales of beer and cider as consumers watch the events in the comfort of their homes, there will also be large gatherings to invite friends and family to watch the games making it a profitable for convenience stores,” Bestway tells SLR.
“Retailers should stock the must-stock lines of products such as Big Bottles, Cans and Multi-can formats, this would also include the premium brands for customers looking for a different range of products to try and share during the game.”
Price also thinks stocking up on a broad selection of chilled brands is important around these events, adding: “I think retailers should stock a variety of standard and premium brands in a range of formats to ensure they don’t miss out on any sales opportunities.
“A good selection of chilled brands is important, whether it’s single serves or four packs, as well as some larger pack formats to appeal to those people who are perhaps looking to save money, enjoy a ‘big night in’ or are attending an outdoor event or summer party. It’s also important to stock a range of low or no-alcohol options, because we know these beers are growing in popularity, so ensure you have some credible options in your chiller.”
Mix it up
Exploring all the options in promoting ranges is another way to drive up sales, according to Price, such as pairing with food.
“With an increasing number of consumers making less visits to pubs, bars and restaurants at the moment due to ongoing financial pressures, this almost certainly means more eating and drinking at home, where they will still want to make home meals as authentic as possible, which means matching their beer choice to cuisine,” he explains.
“So, for example, if they are eating Indian food, then pairing it with the only authentic Indian beer brand, Kingfisher, is a great idea, or perhaps if they are eating a Nandos-inspired meal, then pairing it with an authentic Portuguese lager like Sagres.
“Retailers should respond to this trend with clearly sign-posted meal deals and inspirational ideas for pairing beers with food.”