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Beer sales in Hungary set to continue rising

Retail chains expect a 5-7% growth in beer sales this year, following an increase of 1% in sales volume and 4% in value terms, reaching close to HUF 140 billion in 2017, business daily Világgazdaság reported Wednesday, citing data from market researcher Nielsen.

Beer sales are concentrated in Hungary, with two thirds of sales generated in stores larger than 400 square meters, Nielsen noted. According to 2017 figures, traditional beers account for 90% of sales, 7% are flavored variants, and 3% semi-dark, wheat or corn beers.

Retail chains questioned by Világgazdaság said they expect a further rise of 5-7% this year, provided that the summer is hot and long. They are also counting on the FIFA World Cup to boost beer sales. According to retail chain Spar, the summer season generates 35% of full-year sales, while at Tesco this rate is 40%.

The retail chains added that the Hungarian market is dominated by local brands, with a market share above 50%. At the same time, high-quality, more expensive products are increasingly popular among customers, especially local craft beers. In parallel, Tesco sees a decreasing demand for cheaper, economy beers.