On-trade volume sales dropped steeply in 2020 in North Macedonia due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures introduced by the government to stem the spread of the virus, especially lockdowns and social distancing and the closure of foodservice outlets. While off-trade volume sales grew faster than in 2019, this was insufficient to overcome the decline in the on-trade channel; therefore, total volume sales fell significantly in 2020.
The measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 had a major negative impact on the review period trend towards higher-end products. Premium lager and craft beer both rely most on on-trade sales, as fashionable young adults of legal drinking age opt for such products in social situations.
Pivara Skopje remained the key player in beer, accounting for over one half of total volume and value sales in 2020. While the company could not avoid the downturn in total volume and value sales in the category, it remained top-of-mind in terms of brands and due to its support for the efforts against COVID-19.
Off-trade volume sales of beer are expected to continue to rise in 2021 and throughout the forecast period, albeit at a slower rate than in 2020. As consumers return to work and social norms, the demand for at-home consumption will lose the major boost provided by the closure of the on-trade channel during the pandemic.
Lager remained by far the most popular type of beer in 2020. While lager’s total volume share is set to drop over the forecast period, it is predicted to continue to dominate the category.
As of 2020, there were no private label lines within beer in North Macedonia, mainly because of the relatively low level of development of retailing and affordability of standard lager in the country. However, off-trade sales are set to receive a fillip from the expansion of modern grocery retailing, with supermarkets, hypermarkets and discounters increasingly offering consumers a broader range of beer types and products to choose from.
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This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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