Heineken to enjoy Brexit benefits

02 March 2017

Heineken will enjoy the short-term Brexit benefits in the UK on-trade, says trade marketing manager, Paul Gordon.

'It has been an interesting 12 months, with the results of the referendum and the change that would bring,' Gordon said. 'Bizarrely what we have seen since is actually a pretty good set of results. We are seeing inflation staying quite low and production and manufacturing going up to the highest number in 17 years. We have seen unemployment go down and retail value go up.

'In the short term it has been quite good but we also know behind that there is some other stuff round the corner. We know there is going to be an impact on inflation and the cost of goods if you are bringing things in from outside the UK. There could be an impact on living wage and availability of staff etc. So there is a lot of uncertainty still to come and we have yet to see the real impact of Brexit. It’s one to keep watching but it is one to enjoy the benefits of in the short term as well,' he said at a Heineken briefing today.

The on-trade is very resilient. It has got good at evolving and finding new ways to get value for its consumers.

The trade marketing controller said, for Heineken, it's about taking all its insight and knowledge and applying it to products and ranges to make sure the company is giving customers the best possible opportunity to drive sales and drive consumers and value.

'We really emphasise it's about breadth rather than depth of range,' Gordon said ahead of announcing a number of UK on-trade March launches. 'We know if you look at the on-trade in the last eight years it has declined by about 13% since 2008. We know that’s been driven by the evolution of pubs and the decline of wet-led community pubs. We also know it’s been offset by the growth in the food areas as well.

'What we have seen in food outlets is quite a lot of saturation. The growth has slowed and the overall decline of the wet-led pub has taken over again and put the whole on-trade into decline again,' he said. But it's not all doom and gloom, continuing, 'The on-trade is very resilient. It has got good at evolving and finding new ways to get value for its consumers.'

In terms of consumers aged 18-49, the number of categories they are drinking is increasing and their repertoire is growing. ‘What we also know, and are very aware of, is when they go out, the number of drinks they are drinking is declining, and the number of times and occasions they are going out is declining as well,’ he added.

‘Those are the positives of the challenges that are coming out of the on-trade at the moment and it is our job as a supplier to give our customers and their consumers the best value possible.’

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