No real surprises in the latest British Beer Barometer figures from the BBPA. In the year to the end of March 2014, overall beer sales fell by 0.4% - the equal smallest figure since 2006 – split between a 2.9% increase in the off-trade and a 3.3% fall in the on-trade. On-trade beer sales have fallen by 37% over the past ten years and 19% over five years.
In the last two quarters of 2013, more beer was sold in the off-trade than the on, suggesting that the “tipping point” between the two was nigh, but the usual surplus of on- over off- in the first quarter of 2014 means that on an annualised basis the on-trade still accounts for 50.7% of the total. With the general fall in alcohol consumption, the off-trade has also declined over the past ten years, albeit by much less than the on-trade.