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France: Beer consumption declines by 1.7% in 2010

In France an overall decline in beer consumption by 1.7% to 19.73 million hectoliters is recorded in 2010, said Pascal Ch?vremont, new managing director of Brasseurs de France, during a press briefing on Monday. According to him, after a rise in consumption in 2009, the French beer market had reached a plateau around 20Mhl/year. The french brewer’s turnover nevertheless was up 4.5% in 2010 yoy to 2.3 billion euros thanks to special beers and specialties.
Specialty beers (beer abbeys, white, brown, or flavored), the most expensive, are now the largest sector with 36% market share (by value), up 9.6%. Specialty beers above 5% alcohol also derive their game: they have seen their market share (by value) to increase by 5.4% in 2009 to represent 33.3% of the sector.
In contrast, conventional beers are struggling. They lost 5.3% market share (by value) to 26.4%. They are now in third place in terms of sales even though they are still the most widely consumed (38% by volume).
The decline in beer consumption is not new: in 30 years, consumption has dropped by 30% in France. With a per capita consumption of 30 liters per year , the French are low consumers of beer.

barley and malt

In the wake of declining beer consumption, volume of malting barley produced in France in the 2009/2010 marketing year decreased by 18.6% compared to 2008/2009. “Three quarters of French malting barley are exported, which makes France the second largest exporter of malting barley”, said Pascal Ch?vremont. France is the largest malt exporter in the world with a production of 1.3 Mt, of which 1.015 Mt is exported (78%), he said.

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