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Marston’s Annual Bottled Ale Report 2015 is out now

The Marston’s Premium Bottled Ale (PBA) Report launched this week, reveals that six bottles of Premium Bottled Ale are consumed every second in the UK.
21st April 2015

Marston’s Annual Bottled Ale Report 2015

  • The Premium Bottled Ale (PBA) category is on course to achieve the £1bn category value target by 2020 – the fastest growing beer category +£47m / +10.5% 2014
  • Off-Trade has overtaken On-Trade in both volume and value for the first time and now represents over 50% of total beer sold in the UK
  • Brand innovation delivered 50% of category growth, with Hobgoblin Gold and the Golden Ales mix pack cited as two standout launches of 2014
  • Golden Ales represent a 29.3% growth Y-O-Y
  • £108m convenience opportunity
  • The number of 18-34 years intending to buy bottled ale in the next year increased by 44%

Marston’s Premium Bottled Ales

The Marston’s Premium Bottled Ale (PBA) Report launched this week, reveals that six bottles of Premium Bottled Ale are consumed every second in the UK. Category growth of 10.5% Y-O-Y is also outlined, taking the total value of the PBA category to £490m - the category remains on course to achieve the £1bn category value by 2020, as outlined in last year’s report.

In the past five years, the PBA category has increased in value by 75% which can be attributed to a number of factors including:

  • 364,000 more shoppers - for the category in the past year
  • Mixed packs - are recruiting and driving growth with 66% of consumers saying: “I like a variety of ales”
  • Innovation – NPD launches accounted for £28m additional sales value (49% of the total category growth)
  • Craft Beer – PBA and ‘Craft Beer’ categories show a great deal of overlap in consumer perception

Although UK beer sales in the Off-Trade have overtaken the On-Trade for the first time there’s still a great deal of work to do for the category to reach its £1bn goal by 2020, as Paul Warren, Senior Category Manager for Marston’s Beer Company explains:

Retail environment is crucial to the category achieving its potential, the top ten PBA brands deliver 40% of the category sales value, yet only receive 15% of the space in store – leading to availability issues.”

Shoppers say that retailers should do more to improve the availability of PBAs as outlined in the report, with ‘out of stocks’ resulting in 23% of lost sales. The category ‘drive brands’ such as Hobgoblin and Old Speckled Hen deliver most of the category recruitment and Marston’s estimates that there is a £20m RSV/year opportunity if these brands are available all the time.

Paul continues:

The biggest opportunity for growth lies in the convenience channel - we estimate that if range, space and value are correct, then the growth opportunity is worth £104m.
Shoppers are buying for instant consumption when purchasing from convenience stores and 70% of under 30s consume PBA straight from the fridge, meaning chilling is crucial, and we shouldn’t forget the importance of ranging – big brands and styles are imperative.

In the report: innovation and NPD is outlined as a driving force for the category growth – protecting and increasing its value. Whilst Golden beers show no sign of losing their appeal, with Hobgoblin Gold and the Golden Ales mixed pack cited as two of the most successful NPD launches this year.

Download the Marston’s Annual Bottled Ale Report 2015 (PDF 12 KB)

Or please request hard copies of the report from paul.warren@marstons.co.uk

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