Professional Comment

Power Of Premium: Premium and Super-Premium Now Biggest In Absolute Volume Within Draft Beer

Budweiser Brewing Group reveals the premium and super-premium category is the biggest in absolute volume (41%) within the draft beer category, compared to just 27% in 2017.

In the On-Trade, the value share of premium options has grown (+0.5pp) from standard lager (-1.7pp) compared to 2019.

Budweiser Brewing Group, which brews some of the UK’s best-loved beers including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, is forecasting continued momentum for the premium beer category.

Covid-19 cemented the trend towards premiumisation as pub-goers sought out known and trusted brands. Now, for the first time ever, the premium and super-premium category is the biggest in absolute volume (41%) within the draft beer category, compared to just 27% in 2017.

Key to the success of the premium and super-premium category is World Beer, which gained +1.8pp value share compared to 2019. The segment presents a unique sales opportunity for retailers with two thirds of World Beer spend coming from consumers with two or more beers in their repertoire. Popularity of World Beer is evident through the UK’s number one World Beer, Corona, which saw its rate-of-sale grow 25% last year.

The trend towards premiumisation is also replicated in the no and low category. The premium no-and-low beer category grew 23% YOY as consumers look to treat themselves whilst moderating their alcohol consumption. Brand is the most important factor for pub-goers when deciding which no-and-low product to buy - ahead of calories, ingredients, taste claim and ABV, cementing the opportunity around premium no and low options. Budweiser Zero and Stella Artois Alcohol Free are both premium options that build on the success of their parent brands. Both beers have proven a hit with consumers, growing significantly ahead of the total no-and-low category and showing triple digit growth across both volume and value.

Changing line up
Pubs have followed the traditional offering of two core lagers, four premium options, three ales, one stout and two cider taps for many years. Yet there is a need for pubs to increase their premium offerings to maximise sales across the beer category, given premium now makes up 40% of total beer consumption in the On-Trade compared to core lager (31%) and ale and stout (27%).
Budweiser Brewing Group is recommending that pubs and bars dial up their premium draft options, offering one core option, six premium taps, two ales, one stout and two cider options.

“Premiumisation should be top of mind for publicans over the coming years and as we approach the new year now is the perfect time for pubs and bars to refresh their draft portfolio.” said Jean-David Thumelaire, On-Trade Sales Director at Budweiser Brewing Group. “Understanding and responding to consumer demand will be key to the On-Trade’s recovery so we’ll be working closely with customers every step of the way.”