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LAGER OUT BUT ROSY FOR CIDER; Drinkers desert old favourites.

Byline: By IAN FLETCHER

TAKE-HOME beer sales have slumped across Britain as drinkers switch to cider and wine.

Cider sales in supermarkets and off-licences soared by a sparkling 27 per cent to pounds 355million and wine consumption put in a vintage performance rising five per cent to pounds 4.7billion. But changing tastes meant lager bought by shoppers dipped 5.3 per cent while still remaining our favourite drink at home - accounting for 64 per cent of sales worth pounds 1.39million.

Sales of stout (Guinness and similar beers) were anything but. Sales of the black stuff fell nearly 18 per cent to pounds 65million. Ale fared better with a one per cent increase in sales to pounds 363million.

The rise in cider sales last year was down to the success of cider-over-ice promotions by Irish brand Magners said trade magazine The Grocer. But total beer and cider take-home sales were 0.7 per cent down at pounds 2.2bn. The magazine added: "What a difference a couple of years make. In 2006 the beer and cider industry was drunk on the success of sales figures that showed growth in excess of 11per cent. Lager, ale and stout were all in good health while cider posted a phenomenal 33per cent growth.

"England reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the sun stayed around all summer. This year the outlook couldn't be more different."

news@sundaymirror.co.uk

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2008
Words:244
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