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23rd June 2014

Premium Bottled Ale set to be worth £1bn by 2020

• PBA category set to grow to £1bn by 2020
• The trend for premiumisation is still growing with the PBA category attracting 500,000 more shoppers (7% increase y-o-y)
• PBA category has delivered a 12% growth in both volume and value vs the beer market, growing at 3.2% value.
• Consumers named PBA as the ‘most innovative category in drinks’ – ahead of both wine and cider
• Hobgoblin named the top recruiter and most shopped brand with a staggering 20% growth on last year
• Bottled Ale is a £55m retail opportunity in convenience

The Marston’s Premium Bottled Ale (PBA) Report, launched this week reveals that the category has a potential worth of £1bn by 2020. Last year’s report laid out the five year target to double the size of the category to £660m by 2018, this year’s report clearly outlines that current results are well above the target of this original mission – with the value of the category already increasing by £90m to £420m.
To reach the coveted target by 2020, Marston’s outlines that three areas are pivotal to future success:
• Shopper engagement (£210m)
• Retailer environment (£280m)
• Innovation (£90m)
Customer behaviour has shown a leaning toward premiumisation, with PBAs raking up a further 500,000 shoppers over the last twelve months and beating the beer market growth (+3.2 value) delivering a +12% growth in both volume and value.
Head of Take Home & Export at Marston’s Beer Company, Carl Middleton said: “This continuing trend of premimumisation shows that consumers are happy to pay a fair price for quality, variety and taste that the PBA category offers them.
“The category has been allocated more space by retailers this year which has paid off dividends, delivering an incremental £29m value – we are delighted that the growth of the category continues to exceed that of the beer market in general and we are confident that it will continue to do so.”
In the report: NPD, beer styles, packs and marketing are all outlined as key contributing factors to the growth of the category. Hobgoblin is definitely a clear winner in the off trade, with a 20% growth Y-O-Y – crucially being cited as the ‘most shopped ale brand’ and it also retains its crown as the ‘biggest recruiter brand’ for the category.
Convenience stores are also uncovered as presenting a big opportunity to further expand the category – Bottled ale currently makes up 2.9% of beer sales in convenience, in comparison to the off trade market average of 5.7%.
Carl adds: “To bridge the gap, convenience stores could stock more of the top ten beer brands and also merchandise in the chiller to meet the shopper mission of ‘immediate consumption’, in addition capitialising- on the trend for mixpacks and event led sales such as Halloween and Christmas – which both drive recruitment for the category.”
PBA drinkers are cited as being experimental by nature and consumers now recognise that the category delivers more innovations and new products than any other. In terms of sales formats – mixed pack sales are growing by 78% and mini kegs have also added £2m incremental value over the last twelve months.
Carl chips in: “The fastest growing overall beer styles in the bottled ales are once again golden and blonde beer varieties- and our recent product launches; New World Pale Ale and more recently, Hobgoblin Gold will continue this trend which recruits new drinkers to the category.”