Pub beer sales down 38% from pre-pandemic levels

Sales were down 38% in 2021 and there was an on-trade loss of £5.7 billion from beer sales alone – equivalent to 1.4 billion pints.

11 February 2022

Almost one-and-a-half billion fewer pints were sold in British pubs in 2021 than in 2019, according to data from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The BBPA said pub beer sales were down 38% in 2021 and there was an on-trade loss of £5.7 billion from beer sales alone – equivalent to 1.4 billion pints.

In 2020, trading was down 55% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Every unsold pint is a stark reminder of the dislocating effect Covid restrictions had on our sector and the communities our pubs sit at the heart of.”

Beer
The BBPA says consumer habits have changed (Johnny Green/PA).

The BBPA also said there had been a shift in consumer consumption patterns.
Between March 2020 and October 2021, beer receipts dropped 11% while receipts for wine and spirits rose 8% and 13%.

The BBPA attributes the shift to long periods of restriction pub trading, where beer is the most popular drink, and a rise in at-home drinking.

Ms McClarkin said the BBPA backed planned reforms to the alcohol duty system to “incentivise lower-strength products” and “differentiate beer from stronger wine and spirits”.

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