The on premise data revealed drinks sales hovered just below pre-pandemic levels as we entered the second quarter of 2022, after February saw drinks sales drop into single figures for the first time since 2021, according to CGA.
CGA managing director UK & Ireland Jonny Jones said: “It was another week of ups and downs for drinks sales in the on premise.”
“Real-terms growth continues to be elusive, and consumers are clearly still cautious about both their spending and Covid infection rates.”
Spirits was the best performing drinks category last week, with sales up by 10% on the same week in 2019, while soft drinks (down 3%), beer (down 5%), cider (down 7%) and wine (down 10%) were all in decline.
This comes as Brits returned to drinking beer after favouring wine during lockdown in 2020, according to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, as well as Gin sales having seen a drop of almost £1bn in 2020, according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).
Trading remains tough
Sporadic and mixed weather across the week reduced footfall in the on-trade in the week to 2 April with daily sales fluctuating between a low of -9% on Saturday 27 March and a high of 14% on Thursday 31 March.
This continues a pattern of uneven trading since the start of the year, with the confidence of both businesses and consumers in flux, as the cost of living has reached a 30 year high for consumers and increasing prices across the board continuing to pose problems for operators.
Jones added: “As the weather improves, we should hopefully start to see comparative sales pick up, but trading conditions remain tough and the second quarter of 2022 looks likely to be as inconsistent as the first.”