Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tipping point approaches

According to the latest BBPA Statistical Handbook, the point is rapidly approaching at which British off-trade beer sales exceed those in the on-trade.
The proportion of beer sales in the on-trade against the off-trade fell last year at the joint fastest rate seen across the past decade, and it’s “only a matter of time” before most sales come from shops.

That’s according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s (BBPA) new Statistical Handbook, which says the on-trade accounted for 50.9% of beer sales by volume last year, 2.3 percentage points lower than in 2009.

The year-on-year percentage fall between 2009/2010 was only matched in the past 10 years in 2007/2008, when it fell from 55.9% to 53.6%.

It follows a decade of steady decline in the on-trade’s proportion of beer sales — the on-trade accounted for 67.4% of sales in 2000.
It may well come in the year to the end of June 2012, following stocking up of beer prior to England’s participation in the European Football Championship, and drowning of sorrows after the inevitable limp exit.

And I wonder why 2007-2008 showed a record decline in the proportion of on-trade beer sales. What could have happened to cause that?

Canadian beer blogger Alan McLeod isn’t too bothered about it.


  1. I'm afraid I'm adding to the sales of supermarkets.
    After a month of big 'caring' issues at home I haven't visited a pub for the longest period of my life.
    To be honest, with the grotty weather and the prospect of standing outside for a smoke I haven't missed it either.
    Many more pubs will whither and die over the winter period because of either refusing to provide decent shelter outside or being unable to do so.

  2. No politician is going to go to the country having kyboshed supermarket grog considering it's popularity, especially in the current economy. Don't worry about it, there will always be a Spoons.

  3. I'll make a second comment. The on trade account for only 20% of wine and less than 40% of cider according to that report. Not a surprise, tesco do some lovely plonk compared to the rot sold in pubs.

  4. I'd agree on the wine issue. Pubs in UK that serve wine more often than not fall into one of two categories. Either they sell the most awful plonk at hugely inflated prices, or they have a range of quality wines at ridiculously inflated prices. It is rare to find a pub that sells a drinkable vin de table at a sensible price.

    I realise that the essence of a pub is centred around beer, but they must also take care of the other aspects of their business. A lot of people are wine drinkers these days, and know what represents quality and how much it should cost. The days of being able to serve any old crap are over.

  5. I can only think of one occasion when I've drunk table wine in a pub as opposed to a restaurant. But, from what I've seen, Spoons do about the best-priced and most accessible range of pub wine around.


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval. See here for details of my comment policy.