Germans drink up to celebrate World CupBy Neal Baker
Germans have been toasting the success of their footballing heroes, reversing a generation-long decline in beer sales to see a 4.4% jump in the year to July.
Around 48 million hectoliters of beer were sold in the first six months of the year according to the country’s Statistics Office, with the rise helped by a big leap in June, when the 2014 World Cup tournament began in Brazil.
In that month alone, 9.7 million hl of beer were sold in Germany, a 14% increase compared to last year.
With the tournament having ended with a German victory in July, the figures for the second half of this year are expected to reflect a similar positive impact for the beer industry in what is Europe’s biggest producer.
Germans drink more beer per capita than most of the world, pipped only by their neighbours in the Czech Republic and Austria.
However, according to Reuters, sales of beer have declined by more than a third in the 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell, as Westernised young people have turned to spirits and soft drinks.
The last annual rise in beer sales was a whole eight years ago in 2006 according to the DBB brewing association, when Germany themselves hosted the World Cup.
AB InBev, who have a strong presence in Germany, can thank these good sales in the country at least in part for their impressive year-to-date. The owners of Beck’s and Carlsberg recently announced quarterly results that showed a 9.5% jump in pre-deduction earnings, beating experts’ predictions.
However, the positive impact of the World Cup felt by the German beer industry has not been replicated everywhere, as there appears to be a correlation between the length of time a country stays in the tournament with beer sales.
In the UK, off-trade sales lagged throughout the tournament, failing to get near the kinds of figures enjoyed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.