Carlsberg’s vice president of off-trade, Chris Pratt

Industry Profile

Company Carlsberg

Vice president of off-trade Chris Pratt

Profile Alongside its flagship Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, the supplier also owns San Miguel, Tetley’s, Somersby and Mahou,
as well as having exclusive UK distribution rights to American craft beer brand Brooklyn Brewery.

Latest news Carlsberg has launched a snap-pack can format and a rebrewed Carlsberg Danish Pilsner.

How can independent retailers tailor their ranges to appeal to the widest consumer base?

The UK has long been a nation known for its love of beer, but we have seen a step change in people’s attitudes towards moderation. To make the most of this opportunity, retailers can introduce smaller formats or no-alcohol alternatives. 

We have seen increasing popularity in our low- and no-alcohol offerings – Carlsberg 0.0%, San Miguel 0.0% and the latest addition to the range, Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects (0.4%) – and these are only likely to get more attractive.

What is driving the growth in the beer category in the off-trade?

Beer remains an incredibly exciting and versatile category thanks to a wide range of styles that service a variety of occasions from nights in to festival weekends and dinner with friends. 

In the off-trade, the growth of beer is being driven by a trend towards smaller, more frequent top-up shops. This shopping frequency is driving growth in standard, world, premium and craft lagers, and a move towards smaller formats that are better suited to these shopping moments. Alcohol-free continues to drive interest in beer and draw shoppers in from other categories.

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What have been the most significant changes in the beer category in the past five years?  

Craft typically seems to dominate this area, but at its core, the most significant change has been the evolution of consumer values. Customers want brands with authenticity and heritage. Combined with the rise in moderation and growing importance of sustainable products, it has created demand for brands with purpose and quality. 

This is something that is really important for us at Carlsberg, and over the past few years, we’ve been working hard with our retailer partners to offer products that meet their customers’ wants.  

How is Carlsberg innovating to match current trends? 

We’ve been aware of the change in consumers’ values for some time, and have increased the number of low- and no-alcohol alternatives in our range. 

We’ve committed to offering an alcohol-free alternative wherever our alcoholic options are sold by 2030. We’ve also launched a snap-pack format, which reduces the use of plastic and comes in a smaller can, and rebrewed Carlsberg Danish Pilsner.

How is Carlsberg working with independent retailers? 

We want to ensure we operate as a valued partner. That means having a range that can support changing consumer needs and can drive value for customers, solid insight that supports finding the right solutions, and support for our brands that are key to driving the category forward.

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What are Carlsberg’s growth plans in the UK?

We will be focused on supporting the evolving Carlsberg proposition, as well as rolling out the snap-pack format on other products. Snap pack is an innovation that supports retailers’ corporate social responsibility objectives, and so we are looking forward to what the next 24 months brings for the format. 

Which retailers are best at selling beer and cider and how can others learn from them? 

Everybody does things slightly differently, based on the shopper and occasions that they are meeting. A wall of beer is hard to navigate and select from. We’re all busy, so we want clear segmentation and easy-to-navigate products. 

By spending some time thinking about a better shopping experience, from category navigation and merchandising, to how shoppers look, feel and act at the fixture, we can all make this journey more engaging and enticing. Put simply, we need to be better at working together to make life easier for the shopper.