The British Pub Beer Association claims that beer consumption has fallen by two million pints a day on a year ago, 1.4 million in pubs, and the rest in take home.

These are the worst figures since records began in 1960 and in wholesale, the situation is even worse with substantial sales losses through duty fraud. The mega brewing mergers of the past couple of years have failed to lift the market or tackle duty fraud. There was a time when beer was one of the most important product categories in our sector. Those days are long gone.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board says that as a nation we are watching more TV. Exclude me from these figures, please, but last year the ‘average’ person watched nearly four hours of TV a day, over 26 hours a week, up by 48 minutes on the previous year. Isn’t that like getting home at 7 o’clock and watching TV until 11?

The return of Phileas Fogg, brimming with exotic flavours from around the world and supported by a pound;3m marketing investment, will add interest to the savoury snacks market over coming weeks. UB would like us to stock the full range, that’s 12 more lines in a very congested category, but we’ll give it a go.

The re-launch of Walkers Sensations with ‘tempting new flavours’ clashes nicely.

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