UK craft beer phenomenon

British beer tastes change

BrandZ 2015 data, from Kantar’s Millward Brown, shows the top 10 beer brands in the world, led by US brand Budweiser, but it’s the rise of craft beer and the increasing popularity of drinking at home, that are impacting the UK.


  • 13,752 $MBudweiser Brand Value 2015
  • 12,905 $MBud Light
  • 9,668 $MHeineken

The phenomenon of craft beer is related to a larger global shift toward premiumization. It also reflects an attempt to make beer relevant for more occasions. The brand repertoire of many British beer drinkers now includes both a mainstream brand and a craft brand that connects with their sense of personal identity. Sometimes the newer and smaller craft beers do a better job telling their brand heritage stories than the major brands, which are, on average 99 years old.

While traditionally an on-trade market, UK consumption has continued to shift to home and away from pubs and restaurants. Having the majority of beer volume sold in supermarkets, often at a discount, intensified the marketing challenge for brewers. Fulfillment trends in the UK and continental Europe compounded the problem. With the popularity of click and collect, purchasing online and picking up at a drive-thru, the consumer less often experienced point-of-sale brand marketing.

The other beer trend is that of consolidation. Many beer brands that were previously competing are now in the same portfolio, at global and/or local level.

Dominic Warne, Director at Kantar’s Millward Brown Vermeer says: “In the past, there might have been an aggressive strategy to better the competition. Budweiser and Beck’s was a classic example in the UK. Now they’re in the same stable. When a key competitor comes into the same stable, it’s a transition in terms of culture, mindset and strategic approach. You’re now looking after a brand you need to nurture and be fond of, rather than one that you’ve been aiming to knock out.”

Source : Millward Brown

Editor’s Notes

Download the BrandZ beer report above, or visit the Millward Brown BrandZ website for more.

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