Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Less smoking, less beer sales in British pubs?

Beer sales in British pubs have dropped to their lowest level since the Depression. The Charlotte Observer reports,

Blame a nationwide smoking ban that took hold last year, rising costs, competition from supermarkets and an economic downturn that has more Britons tossing back a Newcastle or Boddingtons at home and skipping the local watering hole.

I blame the smoking ban quite a bit, the ban changes a lot of the culture of going down to the local pub for a pint. People aren't drinking as much at bars, but beer sales are up four percent at supermarkets and stores.

Here is the real kicker, the consumer group Campaign for Real Ale reports that for the first time since the Norman Conquest in 1066, more than half of British villages are dry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Beer sales in British pubs have slumped ... including a 10 percent drop in pints drawn in just the past year"

This seems to coincide with the increase in hops price due to a world wide shortage.

"A triple whammy of bad weather in Europe, an increase in the price of barley and a decrease in hops production in the U.S. has lead to a price increase of 20 percent for the most widely grown varieties, to 80 percent for specialty hops. The shortage is particularly hitting microbreweries, since they use more hops than major brewers."

The specialty hops are used more in the UK as they enjoy good beer and not PBRs.

Could this change in consumption patterns be explained with a combined look at the Supply-Demand Curve, as well as changing consumer preferences?

The article itself points to the fact that "beer is being overtaken by drinks such as hard cider" who,s price is not being effected by hops prices.

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