Tuesday 23 October 2012

Steady decline continues

Today the BBPA have published their latest Quarterly Beer Barometer figures. While their press release concentrates on the quarterly figures, showing an overall 4.8% decline in beer volumes, these were somewhat distorted by an untypical rebound in the third quarter of last year. In reality, the annualised figures are a better guide, showing an overall 3.2% decline, split between 3.6% in the on-trade, and 2.8% in the off-trade.

This is representative of a long, steady decline rather than a catastrophic fall, and is much better than the 5% plus falls recorded in 2008 and 2009, but even so it must be remembered that a 3.2% annual drop will halve overall volumes in fifteen years. On-trade sales are 26% below 2007, and 37% below 2002, so it’s hardly surprising that so many pubs have closed. The off-trade is now 94% of the on-trade, so the inevitable tipping point can’t be too far away.

Despite the negative impact on jobs, and on VAT and duty receipts, it remains a racing certainty that the government will ignore all the petitioning and campaigning and continue to apply the duty escalator in the next budget. Or, as minimum pricing seems to have been kicked back until at least 2014, they may even ratchet it up a bit more.


  1. "Steady decline continues"

    Isn't that the general message of your blog summed up in three words...?

    (Don't do 'smileys' but imagine one here.)

  2. Mudgie is a must read for someone like me that believes in pubs. I think he reflects on something that few blogs do and does it well*. Saves me the analysis too!

    I regard him as a proper beer man. I don't hold quite so many bloggers in that high regard.

    *When he keeps off you know what that is.

  3. Ah, but think of the benefits to public heath!

    All decline is good to rid society of the evils of drink.

  4. It is my dream that one day the Tand will say this of me ;-

    "I regard him as a proper beer man. I don't hold quite so many blogger trolls in that high regard"

  5. Doesn't appear pub-goers are now buying their beer at the supermarket.

  6. Well, yes, off-trade sales have been in decline since 2008, albeit at a slower rate than the on-trade, and in fact are now lower than they were in 2003.


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