SIR; The pundits who are writing the obituary of big lager brands (The Grocer, October 1, p44) don’t appear to know the facts.
AC Nielsen’s Scantrack survey shows the top 10 beers in the off-trade make up 65% of off-trade sales - all are lagers and nine of the top 10 are in growth.
Mainstream lager is performing particularly strongly; up by 7.7%, which is driven by the growth of brands such as Carling.
Carling sells almost 5.5 million barrels every year in the UK and is growing by over 200,000 barrels annually. Yes, niche brands are important, but they are just that - niche.
The vast majority of beer sales will be always be, by definition, the big-selling brands.
Speciality beers will complement these big brands - not replace them.
The opportunity for retailers is to choose the right range of beer and to allocate the appropriate amount of space to each category.
The top 10 is in great shape but many of the second rung brands are in rapid decline. These are the brands that are losing out.