News & updates

Welcome to the 2016 Premium Bottled Ale - PBA - market report from Marston’s Beer Company

Premium Bottled Ale Category adds 376,000 shoppers in 2015.
1st July 2016

  • PBA category on course to achieve the £1bn category value target by 2020 – the fastest growing beer category having increased in value by 92% in 6 years
  • Off Trade spend overtook On Trade in 2014 and this gap has widened further
  • Brand innovation delivered £21m of category growth with consumers continuing to view PBA as the most innovative alcoholic drinks category
  • £113m convenience opportunity
  • PBA is recruiting younger consumers

The Marston’s PBA Report reveals that 376,000 more shoppers purchased PBA in 2015 than ever before. Category growth of 92% over the past 6 years is also outlined, taking the total value of the PBA category to £538m - the category remains on course to achieve the £1bn category value by 2020, as outlined in last year’s report.

The PBA category increase in value can be attributed to a number of factors including:

  • Increased spend from under 45s – up 16% YOY
  • New Shoppers – new shoppers in 2015 spent 8 times more than in 2014 adding £10.6m to the bottled ale category
  • Big Packs – each big pack performs a distinct role for the category with Multi providing the value offering, Mix providing the variety and Mini Keg the multi-purpose offering. Mixed packs grew value 20% MAT YOY and Mini Kegs 52% showing their further potential
  • Craft Beer – PBA and Craft Beer categories show a great deal of overlap in consumer perception

Marston’s Annual Bottled Ale Report 2016

Although growth continues to be strong there’s still a great deal of work to do for the category to reach its £1bn goal by 2020, as Paul Warren, Senior Category Manager for Marston’s Beer Company explains:

Retail environment is crucial to the category achieving its potential, the top ten PBA brands deliver 35% of the category sales value, with 53% of shoppers sticking to their favourite beers when purchasing PBA. Providing more space to and keeping stock of these brands is vital to future growth

Shoppers say that retailers should do more to improve the availability of PBAs as outlined in the report, with ‘out of stocks’ resulting in 25% of shoppers opting to buy nothing. The category ‘drive brands’ such as Hobgoblin and Old Speckled Hen deliver most of the category recruitment.

Paul continues:

The biggest single opportunity for growth lies in the convenience channel - we estimate that if range, space and value are correct, then the growth opportunity is worth £113m.
Convenience shopping is generally for immediate consumption and over half of under 18-54 year olds consume straight from the fridge, meaning chilling is crucial.

Download the Marston’s Annual Bottled Ale Report 2016 (PDF 7 MB)

For more information on the PBA Report or to request images, please contact or 01926 338811.

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