Beer consumption continued to shift from the on-trade to the off-trade in 2021 because of the government’s anti-COVID-19 measures. However, off-trade volume sales witnessed much slower growth as the desire for home drinking eased off and consumers were able to socialise in drinking venues for some of the year.
As Austria tackled the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for low- and non-alcohol beer rose, notably during the periods when horeca was closed and consumers didn’t want to drink excessively at home. This is illustrated by another significant volume sales increase in flavoured/mixed lager as well as in non-alcoholic beer, although the latter is also benefitting from a longer-term shift.
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, stimulated by the shift to off-trade sales which saw increased demand for beer products from supermarkets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After several setbacks, the potential end to the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to become a reality in 2022 with a sharp surge in on-trade beer consumption patterns expected in this year driving double-digit volume growth. The omicron variant is expected to lead to a problematic spike in infections early in the year but afterwards the virus is likely to turn into a manageable threat.
Diversification in beer consumption is expected to increase in the forecast period as consumers are increasingly interested in variants other than classic lagers, such as unfiltered Kellerbier (“Zwickl”), malty Dunkels, Indian Pale Ale and other Ales. The popularity of imported lager is expected to further rise with more diversity being created by a growing number of domestic breweries.
After a surge in the off-trade due to home seclusion during the pandemic, non-alcoholic beer is expected to see strong volume growth as on-trade sales recovery over the forthcoming years. However, later in the forecast period, growth is expected to slow down considerably as demand for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks normalises.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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