Beer industry: Corona crisis affects breweries

Brewing industry

According to the German Brewers’ Association, individual breweries had to cope with a decline in sales of more than 70 percent.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The corona crisis is clearly depressing beer sales and is putting German breweries under pressure. In the first half of the year there was a decline of 16 percent and, at the same time, a drop in sales of 19 percent on average, the German Brewers Association (DBB) explained to an industry survey. “2020 will be one of the most difficult years in the history of the German brewing industry,” said DBB President Jörg Lehmann.

Even if trade sales have partially recovered and the situation in some export markets has eased, draft beer sales will remain in the basement. “The severely restricted operation of the catering trade and the cancellation of tens of thousands of events and festivals have a direct impact on the breweries.”

The higher the gastronomy share in a brewery’s business, the more massive the slumps are. “Individual breweries have had to cope with sales declines of more than 70 percent in the past few months – and the dry spell is far from over,” warned Lehmann.

For the year 2020 as a whole, the DBB member breweries are expecting a drop in sales of at least 14 percent and an average decline in sales of 16 percent.

Only a quarter of brewers consider government aid to be appropriate

Breweries that, on the other hand, sell their beers mainly through retailers or that were able to benefit from domestic tourism in the summer months, will get through the crisis much better. Like many other companies in the food industry, almost 70 percent of breweries want to spend less on advertising this year.

According to the lobby association, more than half of the breweries would like more help from the federal and state governments. Only a quarter of the companies consider government support to be sufficient.

Politicians must help to ensure the survival of the hospitality and event industry in need, said Lehmann. “If nothing happens, next spring at the latest there is a risk of a wave of bankruptcies like we have never seen before.”

More: Economy fears billions in losses if carnival is canceled


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