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UK consumers have lost their taste for beer in the third quarter as supermarket sales slump more than 10%, according to BeverageDaily.com.

Citing data published by the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer, the report revealed that total Q3 beer sales in the UK dropped 9.7%, with the off-trade market taking the biggest hit. Compared to Q3 2009, beer sales in supermarkets and off-license stores fell by 12%.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said part of the reason for the size of the slump could be the post-World Cup hangover. Sales have tended to drop below seasonal norms after previous tournaments. Wet weather over summer then added to the downward pressure on sales.

“As has occurred after every World Cup the beer market hit a bump in the road, which was not helped by a wet summer,” said Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive was quoted saying.

Simmonds added that the weak economic situation economy coupled with government spending cuts is feeding consumer anxiety and having a negative impact on sales.

The spokesperson for the UK beer industry said: “Concern about the impact of public spending cuts on jobs and incomes and the forthcoming VAT and beer tax rises are feeding that unease.”

As the Government reviews licensing and alcohol taxation policy, BBPA is calling for political action to come to the aid of the sector.

The European beer industry is lobbying governments across the continent not to be tempted into higher beer taxes in answer to budget deficits. The Brewers of Europe has recently published an independent study that aims to highlight how higher beer taxes can backfire and even reduce government revenues. – Source: Beverageadaily.com

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