Drinks sales almost level with 2019 in week to 21 May

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker: sales in Britain's managed pubs and bars almost level with 2019 between 15 and 21 May (Credit: Getty/bogdankosanovic)
CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker: sales in Britain's managed pubs and bars almost level with 2019 between 15 and 21 May (Credit: Getty/bogdankosanovic)

Related tags: Cga, Beer, Spirits, Wine, Finance

Drinks sales were virtually level with 2019 in the seven days to Saturday 21 May in Britain’s managed pubs, bars, and restaurants, the latest CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker has shown.

After four successive weeks of growth, average sales by value were just 0.2% behind 2019 levels between Sunday 15 May and Saturday 21 May, however high inflation meant the value of drinks sales was still behind in real terms.

CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “Drinks sales have hovered close to pre-Covid levels throughout April and May, but meaningful growth is frustratingly elusive.”

Still behind in real terms 

As with the previous tracker​, trading patterns fell in line with the temperature, as warmer weather in the first half of the week pushed sales ahead of 2019 by 2% on Monday (16 May), 8% on Tuesday (17 May), and 11% on Wednesday (18 May).

However as cooler and wetter weather set in, sales became flat on Thursday (19 May) and were down by 14% on Friday (20 May) with a pattern of sluggish Friday trading seeming to have formed throughout 2022 as remote working patterns have continued to reduce after-work drinking occasions, according to CGA.

Spirits​ and beer​, up 9% and 1% respectively, were both in growth once again last week while soft drinks, cider and wine saw declines of 1%, 11% and 12% respectively.

A high point in the week came in Scotland on Wednesday, when Rangers’ appearances in the Europa League Final sent beer sales soaring 123% above the same day in 2019.

Despite the modest 2022-on-2019 growth in recent weeks, high inflation has meant the value of drinks sales in pubs is still well behind in real terms.

Kickstart the summer 

However, sales have been predicted to see a boost by the start of half-term holidays and the four-day weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from next Thursday (2 June) – Sunday (6 June), particularly if the sun shines.

Jones added: “Mixed weather isn’t helping, and the on premise desperately needs sunshine if it is to take full advantage of the Jubilee weekend.

“The celebrations could help to kickstart the summer, though the cost-of-living crisis continues to cast a shadow over consumer spending.”

Related topics: Beer

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