Drinks

Alcohol Sales At A High In UK Due To Hot Summer

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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UK grocery retailers have experienced a high volume of alcohol sales over the past four weeks, according to retail-performance data recorded by the latest Nielsen report.

For the four weeks ending 13 August 2016, beer and cider sales were up by 4.7%, compared to the same period last year. The figures equate to 15 million more pints consumed, a spending of over £27 million.

Ale has also seen a jump in volume, at +4.2%, following closely behind lager, which saw a rise of 4.7% over the four weeks. The highest volume uplift was cider, over July and August, which had a 6.2% increase, with volume growth of 8.4%.

"What's encouraging to see is that this has helped boost the overall 52-week performance, with lager now growing over the year, value ahead of volume [+1.2% and +1.1%, respectively],"  says Jon Sheppard, Nielsen's client business partner. "Furthermore, this is also helping to recover some of the cider declines we've seen of late, with the yearly level of volume drop halved due to just these four weeks."

Champagne and sparkling wine also saw a hike in value terms this summer, with a 4.9% increase for champagne and double-digit growth up to 13.9% for sparkling wine versus last year.

Both spirits and still wine did not fare so well over July and August, however, the soft-drinks category, including mineral water, was up 8.9% in volume terms, with more than half attributed to water. Volumes in this category were up a massive 19%.

"It's safe to say that both retailers and brewers alike will be pleased with this recent sales performance," notes Sheppard. "Twenty (20) out of the top 30 brands grew faster than their yearly average, and while this growth was driven by the grocery multiples, impulse retailers saw the four weeks' sales in the black versus last year, after a generally torrid year for the channel."

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aoife Lawless. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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