HMRC figures show Beer sales down


Official HMRC figures released yesterday show that beer sales in the pub sector feel sharply– down 39% from peak levels – as pubs are priced out of the market and close.

The analysis of HMRC figures by GMB, the union for tied pub tenants, shows an unsteady and uneven recovery underway in the seasonally adjusted monthly volumes of some type of alcoholic drinks released for consumption in the UK, while volumes are still well below pre-recession levels for all types of alcoholic drinks except cider.

In the year to December 2010 the volume of beer released for UK consumption in the “on trade” was down by 0.37% on the volume for the year to November 2010 and was 5.9 % down on the figure for the year to December 2009. Sales of beer in the “on trade” are down 38.9% on the levels in 2002.

GMB National officer Paul Maloney said the difference between alcohol prices in pubs and supermarkets was wider than ever. “Pubs are being priced out of the market and are closing as a result of rents being too high,” he said. “The regulatory authorities have done nothing to save ‘tied’ tenants from market abuse by property companies that own pubs.

“Government talk about binge drinking completely misses the point that supermarkets are the source of much of the drink as beer sales in pubs are 38.9% down on the peak year of 2002.”

Comments (1)

Add Your Comment

First we get told off for drinking too much and bingeing. Next, campaigners work to put up the price of booze to make it less attractive and stop discounts. Then when people drink less and are more sensible about what they drink and how quickly they drink it we’re all told that the market is in crisis.

I visited two pubs on Sunday afternoon, both we rammed. The first had a carvery and the football on, the second had no TVs at all and was a refurbished pub that had transformed a grotty dingy old pub into a happening busy boozer where most people where drinking wine or coffee. I’m happy that people are drinking less beer at the same time I’m happy that most people are watching what they eat. It’s not all doom and gloom.

Those who buy beer from supermarkets and want to smoke themselves silly at home are welcome to. It’s called natural selection, we’ll be better off without them.

09/03/2011, 12:54

Add Your Comment

* Required field. All comments are reviewed before appearing.

Get our newsletter