Cider, beer and sparkling wine on the up, bangers going down the pan...
It’s official- we drink cider in the sunshine. Latest figues from the ONS survey of summer products- which identifies the top products bought by consumers during the summer months, shows that ciders, perry and similar follow an almost identical pattern to summer temperatures in the UK – meaning sales have been buoyed by the recent good weather in June and July.
In fact, UK manufacturers’ sales of cider etc have increased by 58.8% since 2010, to £911.2 million in 2014; although the ONS recognise that this figure is likely to have been boosted by the advent of myriad alternative fruit ciders.
Beer was eighth in the recent top 10 products in terms of UK manufacturers’ sales value (competing with large purchases like cars (which topped the table), and was not far behind soft drinks (at number 6) and just beating whisky at number 9. However, after falling out of favour for some years, showing a decline in value between 2009 and 2012, in 2014 sales increased for a second year, which is likely down to the craft beer revolution- CAMRA report with 170 new breweries having started up in the last 12 months.
But even more surprising than 170 new breweries is the apparent success of the domestic wine industry, led by the English Sparkling Wine campaign, with news that there are now almost 500 vineyards throughout England and Wales.
However, it’s not all good news. Despite summer being the traditional hunting ground of the barbecue banger, sales of meat products show that consumers are turning away from the traditional burgers and sausages, and moving towards healthier and more upmarket products such as steak and fresh chicken, both of which having shown solid growth. Sales of sausages, however, have fallen by 2.1%, from £838.20 million in 2008 to £820.70 million today. The volume of sausages sold has fallen more dramatically by 26.4%, a whopping 1250 million kg, since 2008. So with sausages seemingly getting less and less desirable, yet costing more, is this the beginning of the end for the humble banger? And more importantly, will our beloved bacon be next?