Despite the unusually warm summer in Latvia during 2021, total volume sales of beer continued to decline over the course of the year as demand remained under pressure in the off-trade. This was largely as a result of the declining cross-border trade, which involves consumers from neighbouring Estonia crossing the border into Latvia to purchase beer at lower prices.
Non alcoholic beer was the only category of beer in Latvia to register positive total volume sales growth in 2021 as demand for free from alcohol options continued to rise among numerous key consumer groups. With consumer acceptance of alcohol-free options increasing rapidly, and with the country’s leading brewers have looked to expand their respective alcohol-free ranges.
In 2021, private label remained a minor player in beer in Latvia, with Rimi the only retailer able to maintain a significant position, and only in domestic economy lager. However, this is expected to change during the forecast period as the recent entry into Latvia of German discount grocery retailer Lidl & Schwartz GmbH has the potential to dramatically expand the supply of private label beer in the country.
Despite the anticipated gradual return to some semblance of pre-COVID-19 normality during the early stages of the forecast period, demand for beer is expected to remain under pressure as the return to pre-pandemic consumption patterns is unlikely to be enough to compensate for two factors that are set to prove negative for demand for beer generally. The most important of these background trends is Latvia’s decreasing population, which is due to the country’s low birth rate and, among working-age men and women.
As mentioned above, non alcoholic beer is expected to continue bucking negative sales trends across beer during the forecast period. Non alcoholic beer is set to benefit from the increasing interest in lighter beverages and alcoholic drinks with a lower ABV ratings, as well as the increasing focus on health and wellness that is sweeping across the Latvian population.
After emerging strongly as a mainstream retail distribution channel in Latvia at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, e-commerce continued to grow in importance during 2021, with further growth slated for the forecast period. In terms of beer, e-commerce represents outstanding convenience as these products are often seen as heavy and bulky, meaning that ordering beer online and having it delivered directly to one’s home represents opportunities for busy consumers.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Beer industry in Latvia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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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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