The shift from on-trade consumption to off-trade sales for home consumption led to a recovery of off-trade volume sales in 2020, a reversal of the decline seen in previous years. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 crisis has created major challenges for brewers, as beer sales were hit hard in 2020 by the closure of on-trade outlets during the lockdowns between March and May and November to December.
A key driver for growth in domestic premium lager in the off-trade channel was the rising presence of the Helles (clear/light lager) beer, especially outside its traditional region of origin, the southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. For example, well-recognised premium brands with a wide national presence including Bayreuther Hell and Rothaus continued to grow in popularity.
Radeberger Gruppe remained the leading player in beer in 2020 with a portfolio comprising regional, national and international brands. Its share increased in 2020 as it benefited from a strong presence in non-alcoholic beer with the brands Clausthaler and Jever Fun.
Following the total volume decline witnessed in beer in 2020 a strong recovery is expected in the early years of the forecast period, driven by an improvement in the on-trade channel. However, the long-term trend towards a stagnation in beer consumption is expected to continue once sales stabilise, notably as young consumers seek to reduce their alcohol consumption due to increased health awareness.
The changes seen in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19 are expected to continue influencing beer sales for several years. It is expected that many breweries will not survive the COVID-19 crisis, especially among those which generated a majority of their sales through on-trade channels pre-pandemic.
The shift towards more premium local beer is expected to continue benefitting local brewers whose brand positioning is strongly rooted in their locality and distinct local beer culture, fuelled by the consumer appetite for premium brands. In addition, some brands with a local positioning, notably helles and weizen beer from Bavaria, are also expected to see their presence continue to increase in other regions.
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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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