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Decline in beer market continues in 2010


It is estimated that spending on beer will fall by 5% to PLN 20bn (€4.9bn) in Poland in 2010, according to Euromonitor. Demand for beer is also expected to continue to decline in 2011, when it is to reach PLN 19.7bn (€4.8m). In addition, in terms of volume there is to be a 4% reduction in beer consumption in 2010 and a 1.3% reduction in 2011.

As a result of the 13.6% increase in excise duty on beer in March 2009, market saturation, cold summer, and, in general, negative economic situation, demand for beer declined by 8% in 2009, and the first half of 2009 saw the weakest sales since 1989, worth 12.5% less than those of H1 2008, as Danuta Gut of the Union of the Brewing Industry Employers in Poland Browary Polskie (ZPPP Browary Polskie) told Retail Update Poland. On average, Poles drink 92 litres of beer every year, which leaves Poland in third place in Europe, after Germany and the Czech Republic. However, only 87 litres per capita were consumed in 2009.

According to preliminary estimates, the largest beer producers that control some 90% of the beer market in Poland, Kompania Piwowarska, Grupa Zywiec and Carlsberg Polska, reported reductions in turnover in 2009. At the same time, the regional and small breweries which produce natural and flavoured beers reported an increase in sales, as they offer niche products on the Polish market. By way of example, producers such as Ciechan, Jagiello and Van Pur reported increases in sales in 2009.

We already know that 2009 brought a drop in beer sales in Poland. We estimate the decline at as much as 5-7%. I can safely say that forecasting the level of sales in the current year and next has not been so hard in years. The year 2010 will be a difficult one for the industry, so a bottoming out of the downward trend would be welcomed as a success.

It should be noted that weather conditions – in addition to macroeconomic factors, fiscal policy and potential restrictions on marketing communications with adult consumers – may have a significant impact on the level of beer consumption. Without a doubt, an extended period of good weather (May-October) could drive sales higher.

Danuta Gut

Director of the Management Board Office – ZPPP Browary Polskie

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