50 million less pints sold in 2013 Q1, worries for UK pub industry

According to the latest Beer Barometer by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), 50 million less pints were sold in British pubs in the first three months of 2013, compared to the same quarter in 2012. This is a decline of 5.5 per cent in the pub trade.

Considering that beer is responsible for 68 per cent of drink sales in pubs, according to BBPA figures, many are worried about these shocking figures as they pose bad news for hospitality employment. Even though off trade sales had seen a rise of 0.1 per cent, the fall in pub sales have continued a trend seen since the global financial crisis hit in 2007.

However, many industry experts have suggested that the chancellor’s recent decision to scrap the beer duty escalator and lower beer duty in the 2013 Budget will have an impact on the second quarterly figures. With George Osborne deciding to bring the price of a pint of beer down by a penny, many hope that the sector will see a nice boost in the coming months. This should hopefully be in conjunction with warmer weather, encouraging more households to visit their local pub.

BBPA’s chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “We would hope to see the benefits in second quarter sales, where brewers, pubs and pub-goers will see beer tax rates at nearly seven per cent lower than they were due to be. The duty cut has seen brewers and pub companies passing on the reduction to customers. It will encourage brewers and pubs to invest and create jobs.”

The chief executive went on to argue that other recently-announced Budget initiatives, such as National Insurance changes, will also further benefit the pub industry, considering that it is responsible for 600,000 hospitality jobs across the UK.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.