Premium bottled beer seems to be flavour of the year with constant activity on-shelf that incorporates ales, speciality beers, regional brews and global offerings.
Producers are positive there will be an increase this Christmas in consumers looking for interesting beer tastes at the premium end. “Our conversations with customers have been focused very much on the desire for the bottled ale category to be premium, continue to meet consumer demand and deliver superior margins,” says Neil Jardine, take-home director of Greene King Brewing Company, producer of Old Speckled Hen.
Other producers are also ensuring they are key contenders this Christmas. Dorset brewer Hall & Woodhouse is launching its latest release, Badger First Gold, into Thresher this Christmas, supported by national and regional advertising.
“Badger Ales is now the leading regional brewer in the premium bottled ale market, with a 9.5% share, and our bottled ales have seen a five-fold growth since 1998,” says Rick Payne, marketing manager at Badger Ales.
London brewer Young’s is planning to
release its seasonal ales and gift packs for Christmas - including Christmas Pudding ale, with a pint glass, and John Young’s Christmas ale in gift tubes, as well as its Great British Ales gift pack in Tesco, developed with Welsh brewer Brains.
In addition to ales, new bottled lagers and imported brews have been appearing on shelves throughout the UK and the category is selling well this year.
“Retailers know that beer is a big seller over Christmas and New Year and should capitalise on this demand by providing their customers with a range of quality lager,” says Simon Green, business development manager for Italian beer brand Birra Moretti. “Christmas provides a perfect excuse to try a new beer.”