Start small and talk to beer fans

IT’S an exciting time for ale and premium beer sales in the UK, and Scotland is playing a major role in the ale revival reckons the team behind long-established Scottish beer brand Belhaven.

Belhaven Best 4x440ml PMP

Belhaven Best – Scotland’s best-selling pub ale is said to be increasing sales through c-stores and is available in a PMP

But the ale sub-category covers many different types of beer. In some ways that is exciting, on the other hand it also presents retailers with the challenge of choosing the right range.
It’s crucial, Belhaven suggests, to know the market favourites and to think carefully about what your own customers are likely to want.
Gordon Muir, brand manager for Belhaven, said: “Belhaven Best is Scotland’s number-one ale overall, with 15m pints sold per year in the on-trade. In cans, it is growing fast in the convenience sector in Scotland.
“As the country’s best-selling ale, it is an obvious must stock, particularly in the new-look price-marked pack for the c-store sector.
“In bottles, the category now covers a spectrum, from traditional bottled ales like our 80 Shillings to bold, punchy craft beers.
“Overall, bottled ale sales in Scotland are growing faster than in the rest of the UK.
“Premium and craft beers can play a dual role in the range of many c-stores; offering a trade-up opportunity to increase customer spend while also, in common with other premium categories, adding interest to the overall range, to appeal to more affluent customers.
“As with any category, knowing your customers is key,” said Muir.
“The best bet is to start small with a couple of premium ales or craft beers, see how they sell and talk to the customers who buy it – people who buy craft beer often love to talk about it!”