On-trade sales of beer suffered greatly from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In addition to the several weeks of horeca closures in the initial months of the pandemic in Spring 2020, there was also a further lockdown in November and December, which caused sales figures to slump again in the final quarter of 2020.
In contrast, off-trade sales profited strongly from the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. Firstly, off-trade sales were boosted by the closure of horeca outlets as consumers switched to at-home consumption of alcohol.
In beer, Brau-Union Österreich AG retained an overwhelming lead over the competitive landscape. At the same time, however, private label brands from the likes of Spar and Hofer also made noticeable gains in 2020, stimulated by the shift to off-trade sales which saw increased demand for beer products from supermarkets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the trading environment in 2020 was dominated by the tightened regulations with regards to national lockdown periods and social distancing regulations, 2021 can expect to see strong restrictions at the beginning of the year, but these should be reduced by the summer. With the launch of Austria’s vaccination programme, an end to the COVID-19 pandemic has become foreseeable.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, craft beer has remained relatively strong in Austria, with the trend expected to continue over the forecast period despite it being overshadowed by the more dramatic effects of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. It is, therefore, likely that this trend will continue, even if some smaller breweries struggled to continue business during the more difficult months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Non alcohol beer is expected to continue to make strong gains in Austria over the forecast period, enjoying a rising volume share in the category in the coming years. Although these products suffered from a negative consumer perception a few years ago, the quality of products in this are continues to improve and they can now hardly be distinguished from their alcoholic equivalents in terms of taste.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Beer industry in Austria with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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