Thursday 27 January 2011

More beer stats

A few more points from the UK Quarterly Beer Barometer:

  • Over the past three years, off-trade beer volumes have been falling as well as on-trade ones, albeit much more slowly, and in 2010 were 2.5% lower than 2007
  • In 1997, off-trade sales in Quarter 4 were over twice those in Quarter 1. However, in 2010 they were only 56% higher
  • 2010 was the first year in which off-trade sales in Q2 exceeded those in Q4
  • For every year from 2006, Q2 has been the highest for on-trade sales, and has exceeded Q4, which tended to be the peak in the past
  • For both categories, not surprisingly, Q1 is always the weakest quarter
  • Off-trade sales show much more volatility than the on-trade – in particular, why did they jump by 10% in 1999 when the years on either side were flat?
  • Off-trade sales always show a big Q2 jump in World Cup years
  • If on-trade sales had continued to decline from 2008 to 2010 at the same rate as 1997-2007, they would now be 12.5% higher, which is in line with my earlier estimates of the smoking ban having caused an “above trend” hit to pubs’ wet trade of between 10 and 15%
  • If current trends continue, the “tipping point” at which off-trade consumption overtakes the on-trade will come at some time during 2012


  1. I think you have hit upon something very novel and important with your quarterly comparisons within the same year. To my knowledge, nobody has thought of this. Brilliant. The smoking ban has far less effect in summer. By comparing quarterly ratios of both on and off sales, it should be possible to extract from the data, quite a lot of information about the effect of the ban.

  2. I've done a few calculations of on sales (Q1+Q4)/(Q2+Q3) and the ratio stays fairly constant around 0.93, which is surprising to me.

  3. "The smoking ban has far less effect in summer."

    Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?

  4. Well, the stats don't show any evidence for that, as the second Anon post shows.

    Another point I could have made is that, extrapolating current trends, the "tipping point" between on- and off-trade consumption will come at some time during 2012.


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