Beer has continued to buck a wider retail alcohol category decline trend over the past six months with shares up 0.2 per cent in the last quarter alone. Contribution from both premium and No & Low beers has bolstered the value growth as consumers seek better quality in-home drinking experiences from well-known and trusted brands during the cost-of-living crisis and move from wine and spirits into beer.
Off-trade beer sales over the last six months have also shown the category withstood a wider retail alcohol sales dip following the pandemic as consumers continued to re-enter the on-trade. Within this, Heineken UK’s portfolio of brands remains a key player in the UK beer market and is driving growth across the category with its extensive portfolio, offering a range of beverages for all occasions. This includes Birra Moretti which has grown by 42 per cent since 2016 and is now the leading premium brand in both the on and the off-trade.
“Beer continues to be a high-penetration category and a key footfall driver for retailers, with weekends and events all contributing to strong category uplifts,” said Alexander Wilson, Category & Commercial Strategy Director – Off-Trade. “The extra bank holiday this year will help drive sales further for retailers, and Heineken UK has an opportunity to meet all shopper’s needs, whatever the occasion. In addition to the rise of the premium and No & Low trend contributing heavily to the growth of the category, consumers are also buying smaller packs. We are seeing smaller multipacks – such as small and mid-packs growing their share of spend and expect this trend to continue over the coming months, as many shop with a more restricted budget. Retailers should be looking to supply customers with choice by offering a range of multipack sizes to help cater to a variety of consumer occasions.”
Premium offerings are growing despite the cost-of-living crisis. While shoppers are attempting to make savings across large expenditures, such as household bills or eating out, smaller purchases like alcohol are one area where consumers are happy to spend a little more. For example, premium lager has grown +10.6 per cent in the last quarter, with huge growth in penetration as consumers want better quality products.
The key brand driving this growth is Heineken UK’s premium tiered Birra Moretti, which has seen a 0.4 per cent share growth vs YA. Birra Moretti has recently expanded with the addition of a new 4x440ml can pack, in anticipation of drinkers flocking to open spaces during the warmer months.
Benefitting from the same consumer desire for higher-quality and trusted brands, as well as a general rise in demand from the category, No & Low beer sales remain on an upward trajectory.
The subsequent rise of no and low-alcoholic beverage purchases has created more options for health-aware consumers and those looking to cut down their alcohol intake. The No & Low Alcohol trend has continued to snowball with 70 per cent of consumers agreeing they are proactively trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and 68 per cent of UK drinkers saying they have tried a No & Low alcohol beverage. The No & Low alcohol category has grown by 5.6 per cent over the last year and this Dry January saw No & Low Beer Sales grow by +13.8 per cent.
Heineken UK is growing ahead of the No & Low category and Heineken 0.0 continues to lead it with a 27.3 per cent share of non-alcoholic beer, growing by 3.1 per cent year on year. Birra Moretti Zero is an alcohol-free option from Heineken’s leading premium beer brand, providing a premium choice for shoppers and continuing to attract new shoppers to the segment.