Let’s hear it for beer

Glass of beer

That beer chiller is one of the most important areas of your store, but driving an increase in value is a constant challenge for retailers as they face intense competition. Getting the perfect beer range isn’t easy but it can be done if you focus on the right areas.

by Émer O’Toole


With 20% of average independent and symbol retailer sales coming from cider and beer, it’s important to get this category right. The key factors in getting the most out of beer sales are chilled space, big brands, events and getting your promotions right. The ultimate goal is for retailers to offer shoppers the maximum choice with the minimum range, to provide an efficient and effective shopping experience.

When buying beer for at-home occasions with friends and family, shoppers are most likely to consume the product immediately after purchasing. Research by Heineken revealed that one in four convenience shoppers buying Cider and Beer will drink it straight away. Therefore, the most important factor in driving beer sales is ensuring that the products are kept chilled, particularly considering a fifth of lager buyers are willing to pay more for a chilled product. So it is worth keeping beer chilled at all times.

What products should retailers stock in that chiller? The beer category is one that is slow to change but it does change, and retailers need to make sure their range continually appeals to customers. The big selling brands continue to dominate space so keep stocking these, but it is also worth considering whether you are providing the right ratio between brands and pack sizes. It is important to stock the core brands within the Beer category, particularly as the top ten brands account for almost 50% of the category value. Statistics show that 76% of shoppers visit shops looking for specific brands and up to 19% leave the Cider and Beer aisle empty-handed because they can’t find what they are looking for. So it is crucial that retailers stock the relevant core brands and display these correctly before stocking NPD of brands and products from emerging sub-segments.

Scottish promotions restrictions don’t need to hold you back. With 47% of shoppers buying beer more frequently if it was on promotion, it is worth exploring other options. Keep an eye on what promotions your wholesalers are running and ensure you’re stocking up on a wide range of promotions. You can also sign post your fixture with branded POS to make the most of promotions that support sporting occasions and seasonal events.

Take control of your forecourt