Non-alcoholic beer sales see 60% boost in UK retail

Sales of branded products outstripped private-labels in supermarkets for the first time since 2015 this summer, while non-alcoholic beer went from strength to strength, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

Non-alcoholic beer grew by 58% in UK retail this summer.

Heavily branded categories – such as savoury snacks, ice cream and soft drinks – performed particularly well over the hot summer months, helping branded growth of 3.9% overtake that of total own label. This compares to total grocery market growth of 3.5%.

However, more expensive premium own-label lines across the market are still growing strongly, up 6.3% in the 12 weeks to 12 August.

Brits spent an additional £67 million on alcoholic drinks, while non-alcoholic beers were up 58% compared to this time last year.

Kantar analyst Fraser McKevit said the boost for brands is further evidence of the continued growth of premiumisation in the retail sector.

“Consumers’ willingness to spend that little bit extra to fully enjoy the summer sunshine has helped push brands ahead of their own-label counterparts,” he said.

“At Tesco and Sainsbury’s branded growth has outstripped own-label for a while and – as the two biggest retailers in the grocery market – this has contributed to the market shift.”

The news comes after months of growth in the own-label category in UK retail. According to a recent report by IRI, Private label (PL) share has grown for a fourth consecutive year in the UK, reaching 52.5%. in terms of categories, alcohol is the fastest grower in own-label products.

Tesco saw strong growth from its Express convenience stores and increased total sales by 1.8%, though the retailer’s market share dropped by 0.5 percentage points to 27.4%.

Sainsbury’s, meanwhile, experienced its fastest rate of growth since January 2018, up 1.2%. The grocer was boosted by a strong online performance and the growth of its premium ‘Taste the Difference’ range, Kantar said.

Aldi witnessed double-digit growth of 12.6%, helping the retailer up its share of the market to 7.6% – a 0.6 percentage point increase on this time last year.

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