Domestic premium brands dominated, accounting for 83% of total volume sales in premium lager in 2014. Within premium lager Heineken continued to lead with a 42% total volume share followed by Diageo’s Carlsberg with 18% and Budweiser with 16% volume share, states Euromonitor, which adds that the popularity of these internationally-recognised brands ensures the continued strong sales of premium lager in Ireland and limits the level of switching between differing price categories.
Total volume sales of lager are strongest for premium products. While unit prices increased for beer overall in 2014, this was largely due to the impact of higher excise tax from late-2013, states Euromonitor. All premium beer brands are meanwhile subject to downward price pressure and aggressive discounting, promotion and below-cost selling in the off-trade.
The price differential between a standard single unit (500ml) can of premium lager in the off-trade and a multi-pack of the same brand on promotion can be considerable, with unit price reductions of up to 50% in evidence. Consequently, discounting can also result in some premium lager brands being offered at unit prices close to those of mid-priced lager brands and it also results in a degree of pricing overlap between mid-priced and economy lager.