John Smith’s Bitter has knocked Tetley Bitter from the number-one spot for the first time to become the UK’s most popular bitter, according to bi-monthly figures from research company Stats MR.
Total sales of John Smith’s in the take-home trade and through pubs and bars overtook those of Tetley early in the summer. Added to the June and July figures for the “on-trade” and figures for the “off-trade” in July and August, John Smith’s sales led Tetley by 0.5 per cent. Previously John Smith’s had 7.4 per cent and Tetley had 6.9 per cent share by value.
Carlsberg-Tetley, which owns the Tetley brand, says the figures are only for one bi-month, and the brand is still the number one on a yearly basis. Scottish Courage says it is pleased with the bi-monthly figures but there is still a long way to go to achieve leadership on a moving annual total (MAT).
Tetley Draught Bitter in cans was also hit by a product recall in May after a drinker swallowed a piece of a widget which had become detached from the can. This is believed to have depressed take-home sales over the summer months. The brand was de-listed by southern supermarket chain Budgens.
Carlsberg-Tetley relaunched the can in August with a new advertising campaign which aimed to restore the brand’s fortunes.
Scottish Courage, which owns the John Smith’s brand, has pledged to stick with its advertising campaign using comedian Jack Dee. It moved the advertising account for the brand into GGT last week (MW October 27).