Friday, July 30, 2010

Avoiding the elephant

Beer sales were up for the first time in 4 years hurrah! It's thought that the world cup and a warm summer has helped, according to a report in the Quarterly Beer Barometer.The problem being of course that beer sales only went up in Supermarkets, not in pubs, though the report doesn't focus on why that might be.

Cheer for beer, as World Cup and weather boosts beer sales

• Total beer sales up 2.9 per cent
• First like-for-like quarterly rise for four years
• Pub beer sales down 6.3 per cent on last year, but up on first quarter
• Supermarket and off-licence beer sales increase by 13.7 per cent

Beer has enjoyed the first like-for-like quarterly increase in sales for four years, according to the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer.
Beer sales in the second quarter were up by 2.9 per cent on last year; the first like-for-like quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2006.

More than 2.2 billion pints were sold during April to June, the best performance since the fourth quarter of 2008, with the World Cup providing a welcome boost. Beer sales were 625 million pints up on the first quarter and 63 million pints up on the same period in 2009.
Pub beer sales were down 6.3 per cent on the same period in 2009. However, sales were 166 million pints up on the first three months of 2010, the first rise since the second quarter of 2009. Almost 1.1 billion pints were sold in pubs during April to June compared with 923 million in January to March.
Sales in supermarkets and shops rose by 13.7 per cent in the second quarter. Year-on-year sales are also up by 4.4 per cent.
Year-on-year the beer market is down 1.4 per cent - a significant slowdown in the rate of decline and the best result since the second quarter of 2006.

With the Treasury currently conducting a Review of Alcohol Taxation the BBPA believes these pub beer sales figures make a compelling case for a sustained freeze in beer tax in order to help community pubs, which the coalition Government has pledged to support in the tax review.
You'll notice that no-one in the beer trade has mentioned the elephant in the room, they mention that a long term trend of people drinking at home, but they don't mention a major reason why. That reason is of course the practical banning of smokers from pubs and although it's possible in summer to enjoy a cigarette outside a lot of pubs, come the winter smokers simply wont bother, they'll buy their drinks in a supermarket and drink at home or invite friends around, after all why should they go somewhere they're obviously not wanted.
Personally I don't smoke myself, but it's never bothered me that other people I know do or did, though some ex smokers do find it to be a problem. No I've never been bothered by passive smoking and if the dept of health records are to be believed then I shouldn't be either, seems no-one has ever died because of it, though this might just be a case of litigation avoidance. Still it has been noticeable that pub sales are down since Labour lied about a partial ban and exemptions for certain places and decided to go the whole hog and turn a legal pastime into the equivalent of social pariahdom. It's costing them money too, tax revenues are down, though they have shifted their targets to drinkers and fatties, but again they'll lose revenue because of that too.
Perhaps one day we'll get a government that will leave us alone to do pretty much as we want so long as we're harming no-one else. I'm not going to hold my breath on it ever being a Lib/Lab/Con one though.

8 annotations:

James Higham said...

I feel it was a deliberate ploy to break the pub culture and isolate people.

Quiet_Man said...

I fear you're right James, social isolation can be used to keep people dependent on and in thrall to an authoritarian state.

Anonymous said...

Personally I hate smoke with a passion and wouldn't ever go near a place where there was smoking, mainly because I hate smelling like an ashtray, but I agree with you.

If pubs or restaurants, or anywhere where people don't HAVE to go, want to have smoking they should be allowed to.

If smokers don't want to go then let them go to somewhere where there is no smoking.

I know that it would divide the world into smokers and non smokers, but no one would be forced to do anything they didn’t want to. And after the entire world isn’t perfect; life isn’t perfect.

Anonymous said...

PS: I'm sure that the right of the Tory party who made such a fuss about this law when in opposition will be bound to demand the repeal of teh law.

Mr Pickles is so referendum happy maybe people could have a local poll to decide if council tax was going up ior down and if there should be smoking allowed in public buildings in their area?

Curmudgeon said...

A local poll in Bavaria produced a 61% majority in favour of a blanket ban - thus underlining the point that democracy shouldn't mean allowing majorities to oppress minorities. Why shouldn't people be allowed to vote with their feet as they do with most areas of consumer choice? And remind me again how many entirely non-smoking pubs there were in Britian before the smoking ban.

Curmudgeon said...

Umm, the article you quote related to 2008 figures. The 2010 ones are here, showing a 6.3% decline against last year. Sales have in fact increased for April-June against January-March, but surely you would expect that anyway, especially given the severe winter weather in January.

English Pensioner said...

We drink more when drinking at home than going to the pub. We walk to the pub where we meet friends and spend time chatting, etc, and my wife and I would probably have a glass of wine each before walking home. At home, if we open a bottle, the two of us finish it off!

Quiet_Man said...

@Curmudgeon, sorry had the wrong list up there for some reason, the current one is now in place.