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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 7th Feb 2018 - On-trade beer sales fall 2.4% in 2017, biggest drop in four years
On-trade beer sales fall 2.4% in 2017, biggest drop in four years: On-trade beer sales fell 2.4% in 2017, the biggest drop in four years, according to the quarterly Beer Barometer from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Overall, sales of British beer rose 0.7% in 2017, with a positive end to the year supported by a freeze in beer duty in November’s Budget. The increase in sales meant 55 million more pints of beer were sold in 2017 compared with the previous year. However, the 2.4% drop in sales at pubs and bars, a 17th yearly decrease in a row, equates to almost 88 million fewer pints sold than in 2016. The fall was blamed on a combination of factors including a 3.9% duty increase in March, higher operating costs for pubs, and fragile consumer confidence. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “While it is encouraging to see beer sales rise slightly in 2017, it is still hugely concerning to see on-trade sales fall for the 17th year in a row. This shows just how important the decision to freeze beer duty in the Autumn Budget was, particularly after an inflation-busting 3.9% rise in the Spring Budget. Cutting beer duty is hugely important to community pubs where, on average, 70% of alcohol sold is beer. It is essential the government continues to support beer and pubs throughout 2018. Further support on duty and tackling the disproportionate rates bill paid by pubs remain top priorities for us.”

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