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How the seasons affect our beer drinking habits

Stephan Shakespeare
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AS it gets warmer, beers get more popular. Our BrandIndex scores show a seasonal pattern climaxing around mid-August and lowest in February. But Guinness is an exception. The first graph shows Guinness relative to the basket of scores, and it moves in the exact opposite way to other brews.<br /><br />&nbsp;I wouldn&rsquo;t want to be misleading: the Guinness brand remains strong throughout the year. In fact, it remains at least three times as positive as the sector average the whole year through, peaking at four times the average in the bleak months. <br /><br />Of course there&rsquo;s good reason for this counter-seasonal trend, as it is slightly less appetizing when the summer&rsquo;s here. <br /><br />Perhaps the same thing applies to Shepherd Neam. Magners, not surprisingly, goes higher faster in the summer than the rest. Unfortunately for the on-ice cider, its seasonal highs are lower than before. In the summer of 2007, 22 per cent of people clicked on it with an opinion, reducing to 18 per cent in 2008 and 16 per cent right now.<br /><br />The second graph shows the advance of Emirates, which really started moving up over the past two years. Of course the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal&rsquo;s home ground, has been around for a little longer than that, and in the same period has greatly expanded its range, so it&rsquo;s hard to say whether the association with football has helped to drive the brand.<br /><br />Finally, some end-of-term remarks on the political polling. As I&rsquo;ve said for all of this year, I can&rsquo;t see the Conservatives failing to dislodge Labour at the next election, and the recent by-election in Norwich confirms that.<br /><br />But there remains one interesting dynamic: small parties like UKIP and the Greens again did well. Could they upset expectations in the more marginal constituencies? Possible, but probably not: the smaller parties scored higher for some months after the last Euro-elections too, but then dropped back.<br /><br />Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and chief innovation officer of polling firm YouGov.