Britain’s 145,000 pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants sold less beer than supermarkets and off-licenses last year for the first time since records began. Sales have contracted at these outlets by a staggering 44% since 1980.
In 2015, a total of 44m hectoliters (7.74bn pints) of beer were sold, 51% was sold in off-trade, predominately by large supermarkets and the remaining 49% was sold through pubs, clubs and other licensed premises.
This latest figure contrasts with those back in 2000, when more than two-thirds of beer was drunk in pubs and other on-trade locations, while the figure was almost 80% in 1990.
The shift of purchasing alcohol in supermarkets has been increasing over many years due to pubs’ inability to compete with supermarket promotions, reducing the cost of a pint to as little as 65p
According to the BBPA, the average pub price of a pint of draught lager is in a range between £2.40 and £4.70, 38% higher than a decade earlier. A pint of bitter has seen similar rises, up from £1.80-£2.56 in 2006 to £2.05-£3.90 this year.
There are other influences affecting the decline in the demand for beers in pubs, such as the rise in popularity of wine and the fluctuating rise in demand for cider and alcopops.
The BBPA has called on the chancellor Philip Hammond to reintroduce George Osborne’s surprise cut to beer duty three years ago to give the pub trade the boost it needs. “Duty is 54% higher than it was in 2000, despite recent cuts. Much more work needs to be done to cut beer duty in the UK, still a staggering 14 times that of Germany” said the BBPA.