In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beer will respond extraordinary well as off-trade volume sales increase rapidly. The main reason for this has been due to grocery retailers remaining open during lockdown.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Azerbaijani government has introduced strict rules such as requiring citizens to obtain permission before leaving their homes. On-trade outlets have also been ordered to reduce their opening hours from March 2020 and as such on-trade sales of beer will decline drastically.
Carlsberg Azerbaijan LL will remain the leading player of beer in 2020 and will even increase its volume share due to its active positioning and strong presence within the off-trade. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has also launched new products in 2020 such as: Xirdalan Non-filtered in wheat beer, Afsana Strong and Afsana Super Strong in domestic economy lager and Baltika 9 Cherry in flavoured beer.
After performing so well in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beer will witness volume decline for the first half of the forecast period. This comes as no surprise as the growth witnessed in 2020 was artificially boosted and as stabilisation occurs, decline will naturally be seen.
Beer is projected to return to pre pandemic norms in volume terms in 2021, providing restrictions are successfully lifted, with the country’s population of legal drinking age set to see strong growth over the forecast period. The widespread popularity and affordability of domestic mid-priced lager is expected to be the backbone of growth, while non-alcoholic beer is expected to continue seeing steady growth due to its popularity among the younger generation.
While off-trade volume sales are expected to see steady growth over the forecast period, on-trade volume sales could take longer to recover. Having seen strong growth in inbound arrivals during the review period, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a significant setback for Azerbaijan’s tourism industry.
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