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18 May 2016

Miller Brands drives growth of super-premium beer in UK

Today, £1 in every £4 spent on beer in London is on a super-premium beer, which is beer that has a clearly defined and understood provenance, authenticity and brand story, and costs £4.15 per pint or higher. Growth of this super-premium segment of the UK beer market has been led by the much loved Italian brand, Peroni Nastro Azzurro which continues to be the UK’s No.1 super-premium beer. Ten years ago this super-premium segment of the market hardly existed.

Today, Miller Brands reports 5% net producer revenue (NPR) growth during the 12 months ended 31 March 2016. As well as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the business also imports Pilsner Urquell and Kozel from the Czech Republic. All three brands achieved double-digit volume growth during the year.

Distinctive marketing initiatives such as ‘The House of Peroni’ have driven sustainable revenue growth and desirability among beer lovers. The House of Peroni welcomed nearly 35,000 consumers through its doors in May and November 2015 and will open its doors tomorrow (19 May) at Proud East, in Haggerston, East London as the installation enters its fourth year. This year, the residency will be built around the theme of ‘Amare L’Italia’ (For the Love of Italy). Peroni Nastro Azzurro lovers will be able to enjoy an Italian feast from Michelin-starred chef, Francesco Mazzei; infusions from assistant head bar tender at the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel - mixologist Simone Caporale; with draught Peroni Nastro Azzurro being available throughout.

Czech brand Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsner lager strengthened its position with four new Tank Bar launches in 2015, serving unpasteurised fresh beer in the Duck & Rice and Galvin Hop in London, Albert’s Schloss in Manchester, and Headrow House in Leeds. Latest openings include Draft House Old Street and Chancery Lane where Pilsner Urquell unveiled its first ‘Altar of Tank Beer’ for consumers to learn the art of pouring their own pint of fresh unpasteurised beer within a dedicated Tank Room.

After a successful 2015 at Street Food sites across London, Czech beer, Kozel, is back at key urban locations this summer. Last year, the easy to drink, flavoursome beer was enjoyed by over 80,000 food enthusiasts across Street Feast markets and 2016 will see it arrive at Somerset House Summer Series, Junkyard Golf Club as well as B.EAT Street in Manchester.

Gary Haigh, Managing Director of Miller Brands UK, said: “Over the last 10 years, we have been changing the way people think about beer. As we progress from world beer into a new era of high growth super-premium beer, we are immensely proud that Peroni Nastro Azzurro continues to spearhead this change. Progress in Ireland has been equally impressive with 22% growth this year, making Ireland the fourth largest Peroni Nastro Azzurro market in the world.

“The growth of Pilsner Urquell Tank Beer has been outstanding too, with acclaimed restaurateurs and premium pub owners wanting to centre new openings on its authentic, unpasteurised and fresh appeal. Since the launch of the inaugural Tank Beer in 2013, we’ve seen over half a million pints of Tank Beer sold.”

He adds, “We have already seen the growth of super-premium spirits and now beer is heading in the same direction as consumers seek genuine, authentic taste and a story behind their beer.”