CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “It’s not often we see sunny weather have a detrimental effect on drinks sales, but the recent heatwave was just too much for some consumers and operators.
“As always there will have been winners and losers, but overall, it’s been a tough summer so far for the on premise.”
As temperatures steadily rose, drinks sales were in growth by 6% and 4% on Sunday 10 and Monday 11 July vs 2019, hovering just below pre-Covid levels for most of the rest of the week, before moving 9% ahead on Monday 18 July.
As the heatwave reached its peak, sales dipped by between 10% and 14% every day from Tuesday to Friday (19 to 22 July), though due to positive trading on Saturday (23 July), the week ended on a high.
However, sales dipped back by 6% in the following week (to Saturday 23 July).
While high temperatures usually boost drinks sales, the record-breaking temperatures proved too much for some consumers, prompting them to avoid travel and hot venues and drink at home instead, with some venues having closed because of the extreme heat which saw some parts of the country hit 40-degrees.
Desperately needed boost
Cider sales, though usually strong in warmer weather according to CGA, saw a mixed fortnight, with trading up 18% on 2019 in the week to 16 July, but down by 7% in the following seven days to 23 July.
Spirits (up 6% then down 1%) and beer (up 2% then down 5%) followed a similar pattern, while soft drinks were down in both weeks, by 3% and 9% respectively.
However, the wine category suffered the most, as sales tumbled 21% and 17% across the two weeks.
Jones added: “With more pressures to come from rising costs and rail strikes, operators and suppliers will be hoping for more sunshine but bearable temperatures, and plenty of staycations to give sales a desperately needed boost in August.”