The World Cup effect saw beer sales enjoying the first like-for-like quarterly increase for four years in the three months to June - but supermarkets were the major benefactor, research revealed today.
The latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer, from the British Beer & Pub Association, shows that beer sales in the second quarter were up by 2.9% on last year. This marked the first like-for-like quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2006.
More than 2.2 billion pints were sold during April to June, the best performance since the fourth quarter of 2008, with the World Cup providing a boost. Beer sales were 625 million pints up on the first quarter and 63 million pints up on the same period in 2009.
Almost 1.1 billion pints were sold in pubs during April to June compared with 923 million in January to March - but pub beer sales were still down 6.3% on the same period in 2009.
In contrast, sales in supermarkets and shops rose by 13.7% in the second quarter, with year-on-year sales up by 4.4%
The BBPA believes these pub beer sales figures make a "compelling case" for a sustained freeze in beer tax in order to help community pubs, which the coalition Government has pledged to support in its Review of Alcohol Taxation.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "The World Cup has certainly been a benefit to Britain's beer sector and we can now hope that the market is starting to turn a corner.
"However, while there is some reason for cheer, it has to be noted that beer sales in pubs are still falling and the nation's pubs need support. The Government must carefully consider how best to use its Review of Alcohol Taxation to rebalance the tax system, freeze beer tax and support Britain's pubs, recognising the economic and social contribution of these vital community assets."
By Dan Thomas
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