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Social media putting young people off alcohol, C&C warned

Don’t you want me?: The Human League’s Philip Oakey at Bulmers Live – C&C has been warned many youngsters don’t think alcohol is ‘cool’

Social media culture is putting people off alcohol, posing challenges to Bulmers-maker C&C, analysts at investment bank Berenberg have told clients.

Shares in the company fell 2.6pc in Dublin yesterday after the analysts cut their rating on the company’s stock to ‘sell’.

C&C’s stock has been boosted since its acquisition of UK wholesaler Matthew Clark Bibendum, but Berenberg believes market expectations for the company are too high.

It says the company’s drinks brands – including Bulmers and Magners cider and Tennent’s lager – are facing structural challenges due to demographics.

The so-called ‘Generation Z’ – generally defined as people born in the mid 1990s – is drinking less alcohol, Berenberg said.

“Social media culture has placed significant emphasis on vanity and looks, to which alcohol and smoking are not conducive,” analysts at the German investment bank said in a note circulated to clients.

“People have been put off the consumption of alcohol that may lead them ‘going viral’ for being ‘wasted on camera’,” they added.

“Twenty years of anti-drug, anti-smoking and anti-alcohol education has done its job: it is no longer ‘uncool’ to not drink or take drugs.”

Berenberg also said C&C was facing challenges from competition, like Heineken’s Orchard Thieves.

Berenberg said that acquiring a wholesaler wouldn’t fix these issues, as Berenberg sees them.

The argument in favour of having a wholesaler is that it will enable you to push your brands, but Berenberg said that C&C already had big Scottish and Irish wholesalers (Gleeson) and still faced challenges in terms of market share.


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