Premium bottled ale drives beer recovery

24th June, 2014 by Gabriel Stone

The UK’s premium bottled ale category has the potential to more than double in value to £1 billion by 2020, according to a new report.

beerHighlighting a modest 0.2% return to volume growth for the UK’s beer sector as a whole this year after eight years in decline, the Premium Bottled Ale Report 2014 released by brewer Marston’s picked out this higher quality tier as offering the biggest opportunity for increasing sales.

Alongside a 1.8% volume uplift for the premium lager category, the brewer, which produces beers such as Hobgoblin, Marston’s Pedigree and Brakspear, flagged up the 4.4% growth enjoyed by premium bottled ale.

The report, which uses data from CGA Strategy, IRI and Kantar, pointed to a £90 million increase in the value of the premium bottled ale category last year to reach £420m as it outlined three key factors behind this growth.

With growth centred on the off-trade, where premium bottled ale grew by 12.1%, these factors included improved shopper engagement through better merchandising and the success of own label expressions, increased shelf space and online offer, and a strong focus on product innovation.

Together, the report claimed, these elements have helped to attract 7% more shoppers, equivalent to half a million people, to the premium bottled ale category in the last 12 months. Around 350,000 of these were attracted by the own label category, which the report identified as offering “a low-risk trial into bottled ale which converts into a long-term category shopper”.

Boosted by the current craft ale trend, the category has launched more new SKUs during the last 12 months than any other segment of the UK beer market, with golden ales and mixed packs proving particularly popular. While golden ale has enjoyed 31% growth in the last year, mixed packs have seen sales grow by 73% during the same period.

Paul Warren, senior category manager at Marston’s, hailed the report as evidence of “a scalable and long term value creation opportunity” for the UK beer sector.

Looking ahead, he said: “Our agenda is set by our shoppers and consumers; the ongoing trend away from high volume and generic beer brands towards those with quality, taste and provenance is evidenced in the market numbers.”

Pointing to the large number of new consumers buying premium bottled ales, Warren continued: “Our task as brewers and retailers is to make our category ever more interesting, innovative and accessible to facilitate this ongoing consumer shift.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

European Brands Sales Manager, Field Sales Managers and Executives

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, Brighton, E Sussex/Kent, Cornwall & Devon, GB

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 3rd May 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more