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Beer does not fear the crisis (Translation)

10 December 2009

During times of economic crisis, Poles are more willing to give up buying magazines, clothing, household items or travel than their favourite beer. Such are the results of the survey conducted by SMG/KRC Millward Brown, commissioned by Kompania Piwowarska.

Fifty-four percent of Poles declare that they are not afraid of the economic crisis, while nearly 76% of those afraid of it fear the price increases. In the face of a difficult economic situation, our compatriots try to economise in a variety of ways.*

We economise on magazines and papers (23% of respondents), travel (23%), household items (21%), clothing (19%), but also on beer (17%), cosmetics (17%) and even chocolate (16%). The list of the items we are least willing to give up includes meat, fresh fruit, means of transportation, and credit repayment.*

"Our survey of the beer market points to the fact that consumers remain faithful to ‘their' beer brand but they change the volume and frequency of purchases and consumption. Still, they do not consider switching from their favourite brand to a less expensive one or one perceived as ‘inferior.' They gladly take advantage of sales and seek opportunities to purchase their favourite brands for a lower price, for example through promotions or buying it in retail stores rather than at pubs and restaurants,"  claims Katarzyna Wilczewska, Public Affairs Manager of KP.

Catering establishments
During times of economic crisis, we are less willing to frequent pubs and restaurants. Thirty-seven percent of respondents declare less frequent visits to pubs while 28% stopped going altogether. Seventeen percent of respondents claim to continue visiting catering establishments but spending much less than before. There is also a group of respondents that chooses to purchase beer in a retail store and drink it at home in front of a TV (18%).*

The barometer of economy
Beer is the largest consumer category in Poland, responsible for 30% of volume (out of the 20 largest foodstuffs categories, according to AC Nielsen). Hence it may serve as an interesting economic and social barometer of the changes on the Polish market.
"It is difficult to assess exactly how serious the economic crisis was in slowing down the beer industry in Poland, because a decisive factor may have been equally provided by the increase of excise introduced in March," states Katarzyna Wilczewska, who immediately adds, "In this difficult environment, Kompania Piwowarska still has managed to increase its market share (44.8% within the period of April-September 2009), while the other players on the market experienced a substantial drop in sales (9.4% decrease in the whole industry within the period of April-September 2009). KP brands keep increasing their share continually, due to the loyalty of the consumers."

What's next?
Everything seems to be pointing to the fact that Poland is slowly coming out of the recession and we should continue the trends that were somewhat disrupted by the economic crisis. The brewing industry will also return to following the pre-recession trends and, in view of the consumers' preferences, will develop in two major directions.
"On the one hand, popular brands will still be marketed to a mass consumer, to give the example of Tyskie, but on the other hand, a demand for brands marketed to the elite group of consumers will grow," explains Katarzyna Wilczewska. KP prognoses state that the most expensive beer segment, called Super Premium, which includes, among others, Pilsner Urquell or Grolsch, will be growing the fastest, by at least a few percent annually. The other tendency to arrive on the Polish market will be the development of specialised segments.
"We anticipate that equally fast there will develop other segments: flavoured beers like Redd's, and non-alcoholic beers like Lech Free," adds Wilczewska.

* The survey commissioned by Kompania Piwowarska was conducted by SMG/KRC Millward Brown on the group of beer consumers (18-65 years) between July and September 2009.

Kompania Piwowarska [the Brewing Company] - the leader of the brewing industry in Poland
Kompania Piwowarska is the biggest brewing enterprise in Poland. Several centuries of experience in the brewing industry, state-of-the-art technology and the rigorous observance of the norms of production categorised as World Class Manufacturing guarantee the highest quality of product. The company offers, among others, the following brands: TYSKIE (the favourite beer of Poles), ŻUBR (number two in volume sold in Poland), Lech, Dębowe Mocne, Redd's, Wojak, as well as international premium brands like Pilsner Urquell, Miller Genuine Draft, and Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The Brewing Company was established in 1999 through a merger of Tyskie Browary Książęce [Tychy Duke's Brewery] and Lech Browary Wielkopolski [Lech Great Poland Brewery]. Browar Dojlidy [Dojlidy Brewery] in Białystok joined the Company in 2003 and the Brewery of Kielce in 2008. The volume of sales by the KP reached 15.1 M hectolitres of beer in the financial year concluded on March 31, 2009.

SABMiller - one the biggest world manufacturers of beer
Kompania Piwowarska constitutes a part of one of the biggest manufacturers of beer in the world - SABMiller plc. The group produces or distributes beer on six continents, and its portfolio includes internationally known premium brands (among others, Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as leading local brands like Aquilla, Castle Lager, Miller Lite, Snow, and Tyskie). SABMiller plc is among the biggest companies in the world (outside of the US) bottling the products of Coca-Cola. In the financial year of 2009, concluded on March 31, SABMiller registered gross receipts of 25.3 billion dollars and reached gross profits of 3.4 billion dollars. SABMiller plc is listed on London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

Additional information can be obtained from:

Katarzyna Wilczewska
Public Affairs Manager
Tel: +48 61 667 77 65
Mobile: +48 601 887 966

This SABMiller subsidiary news release has been translated from its local market language to English language for publication on We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material but due to the difficulties of translation slight differences may exist.  

Note, the news release was first published in its local market on 09-12-09


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